Second attempt at Blue Mountain view bombed

I attempted my second expression of Blue Mountain View yesterday, and totally bombed it. However I do know that with each painting there are lessons to be learned, and improvements as a painter can be gained

In my second attempt I totally blew it on my values. The farthest mountains looked more like the sky, and the closest looked like just a blob of color. The two lessons I learned from this experience is:

Pay better attention to the values and how to properly contrast them to achieve illusion of distance. I also realized that I tried to put too many fields into the painting which made it too hard to separate the values, and keep the picture looking real. I found myself trying to put too many values in the forefront which created the blob of color that totally failed in appeal. I have to keep it simple.

The second lesson I learned from this is Gesso can be your best friend.

 

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Comment by Russ Hager on March 20, 2017 at 11:19am

I have completed my second attempt at the Blue Mountain View. I will say that overall I am pleased, but every time I look at it I see something that I would like to change.

I have posted it under comments and critiques in the original Blue Mountain View heading. Please feel free to see it and share your thoughts. 

Comment by Mark S Ward on March 8, 2017 at 8:41pm

No worries Russ, it happens all the time. Most of the time I lay in a color already knowing I'm going to have to fix it's value. I mean try to get it right the first go, but it's hard to tell until you get them all on there. I thought your values in the first post was looking pretty good. Looked to me after that you were having trouble with the green color's intensity. Mix in it's compliment to tone it down in this case red. Adjust it's value (you all ready had that established) with a little yellow to lighten or a little blue to darken. Practicing mixing values (light to dark) and mixing compliments on a sheet of watercolor paper can be a fun learning and reference tool not to mention all the neat colors you can come up with. 

A wise man once said "Failures are just good opportunities to learn how to fix them"...Boy...am I still learning...a lot!

Comment by Karen Ilari on March 8, 2017 at 9:52am
I do believe we learn mostly from our failures! I will often leave a painting in sight for weeks or months while I think about how to improve it!
This is where doing your value block in really helps. Taking the time to establish the big shapes in the right value before moving into more detail. Remember with acrylics you don't have to resort to gesso and starting from the beginning. You can just let that layer dry for a couple of minutes and try again! I often refine my values many times in the block in stage until I get them right!

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