Hi everyone! This is 12X16 Acrylic on stretched canvas. I took the reference photo on the trip to Napa valley and changed a lot while painting. Please give me your critiques, especially on color and value. Thanks!

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Nice job on this painting.  My one suggestion might be to give a little more contrast in the grass and vines, since this is bright sunlight.  Your shadows are wonderful and really show the unevenness of the ground.

Also, a more distinct shadow on the buildings in the back will add to the feel of bright sunlight hitting them.  Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for your suggestion and kind words, Patti. I am a beginner.  I struggled with color pallet, the result is still too bright to me. Your words may explain the reason. I will make some adjustment. Thanks again!

Nice job Maggie! And a beautiful scene as well.

You did a really nice job with all the subtle color variation in the background hills and trees. I also like the lovely purple in the distant mountains. It makes a nice complimentary pop with the yellows in the foreground.

As far as value and color - be careful of those white buildings in the distance. They are really much more blue grey and darker than you have them. Do you notice the contrast in value in the tower thing on the right where it is in shadow and light? That contrast in value is what you are looking for to understand how dark they should be. Always compare an area to the area next to it and ask yourself, Is it darker or lighter? Same thing on the roofs of the buildings. They need to be darker and more neutral in color in order to settle into the background.

Edges: be careful in your distant trees and mountains that you keep your edges soft. You don't want a crisp edge on those shapes - we don't see that distinctly in the distance, so it doesn't feel right. Instead be careful to blend out those edges as you paint. Especially in acrylics this can be an issue because you can't go back later to adjust an edge. It's also tough when there is high contrast - mountain against sky for example. You will get used to being aware of that as you go. In contrast you do want crisp edges when you move into the foreground. So a few more distinct, crisp brushstrokes in the foreground bushes, gradually getting softer and softer to the distance.

Whenever you do a scene like this where you have the same element - the vines, the grasses, the shadows, moving from foreground into the background, you want to be careful to gradate both the value and the color (also edges as I mentioned). So the dark shadows, and the dark trunks will shift to a lighter value and a bluer, more neutral color as you go back. The same with the vines themselves. Their color will shift the same way as you go back. Also the size of the leaves. So you will see larger, brighter colored, warmer, crisper edged leaves in the foreground, shifting gradually to smaller, more neutral, cooler, softer brushstrokes in the distance.

I hope this makes a little sense :) As always, just my suggestions to help you see things a little differently and encourage you to keep up the awesome work!

Thanks so much for taking the time to help me, Karen. I thought pretty color of the house and tower would be more attractive, now I see it is unreal and can't fit with background. Thanks for reminding me both the color and value shift as scene recede to the back. The edges shall be my first consideration later on, for I tend to forget it when painting :) Thanks again for your keen eyes. Much appreciated!

You are very welcome Maggie!

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