Proko Challenge Landscape Thumbnails: #1

Proko has a challenge going right now, and I decided I would try to enter. I hope I can finish in time.

The challenge is to paint 5 thumbnail landscapes. They can be painted in any medium, but they must be 2” x 2” large. The biggest focus of the challenge is to learn how to simplify a composition, which is something I have a hard time doing.

In preparation for the challenge, I decided to try to paint the first landscape multiple times. I really enjoyed doing this because I got to explore a whole lot of different ideas and strategies. My first attempt was very muddy, and complicated. As I painted it again and again, the composition grew more and more simplified, and the resulting image became more readable, and more expressive. Less really is more in this instance.

Here is the piece of paper I have been painting for the past five days. You can see the progression as I go, I painted these in order starting at the top left, and moving right.


And here is a gallery of the images, so you can see them at larger scale if you want. Any feedback on what you think is successful or unsuccessful here would be greatly appreciated.

After looking over these again, I decided that I much prefer the moodiness of the soft edges in numbers 19 and 11 in particular. I also liked the yellow sky in 16-18. I think that yellow sky makes the white surface of the river stand out more, and feel more like sunglare.

I like when the rocks were rendered with negative painting, it gave them the feeling of sliding into the water.

Lastly, I like the water in the foreground to be more plain, that when it is busied up with sharp edged reflection ripples, so that’s the direction I want to go in. Now… on to the final draft…

And… drumroll…. This is the final draft of the first thumbnail.

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