The Ravine: #7

I’m trying again to capture the memory of visiting the Ravine as a kid. There is something playful here which feels right. And I like that the tree back there is a defined focal point. One of the things I have struggled with is defining a focal point.

As far as composition goes, this is better than my previous attempts, lowering the horizon helped a lot. It enabled me to open things up a bit and add some depth. The distant hills worked very well as just a simple wash.

I like that the foreground is much darker, because that value contrast helps to add to the sense of depth. Unfortunately, I painted the rock much too dark in the distance, which flattens things out considerably.

I think I went too quickly on this one. I want to try this exact same composition again, only improve on a few things.

1) Shadows – I think I need to move the light source in order to get some more shadows in the image. Where it is now, in the upper left, the shapes that cast interesting shadows are too far right, and the shadows are off the page.

2) Rocks – I should paint the rocks with purpose. I just slapped these in, and it shows. They aren’t defined, and there is no light captured in them. They should add interest, but every rock is essentially the same shape all over again, and it makes them boring.

3) Water – I want to try this again as the exact same color and value as the sky. I’m hoping that would make the water stand out more.

4) Masking – I overdid the masking fluid, particularly on the left. I’ll try to reduce that significantly.

5) Planes – Each hill reads as a flat card one behind the other.

Once I’m more happy with it, I’m going to try this as a large painting on a full sheet. I have yet to do that, so it should be a bit exciting.

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