Painting Challenge, Day 2

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Started the day off with another "20 minute" painting for the 5 day challenge!  Feels so good to pick up paint brushes again!  I actually ended up doing two this morning as I wanted a second try to improve the color.  

The original photo was taken north of Fort Collins, Colorado on the way up into the foothills.  There is a line of sandstone bluffs that fronts the mountains and it was beautiful in the setting sun! A peaceful July evening! 

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I started off with a value sketch.  Even if I don't refer to it while painting, just having done it helps me get better values when I paint.  It's even better if I do refer to it while painting! 

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This is the first try at 20 minutes. On the way, but still needed some work 

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I gave it another 5 minutes and this was the result!  A good stopping point.  These aren't finished paintings, but rather little studies.  Looking for values, shapes, and colors.  Seeing if I can capture the feeling of the original scene in paint.  I was really happy with the foreground and line of sandstone bluffs in the distance.  

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When I took this photo with the reference photo, I could see how poorly I captured the color in the clouds.  Since it was one of the things that drew me to the scene, I decided to have another go at it.   

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Attempt #2.  This was the result after 20 minutes.  I did touch up just a couple of things, so total time was probably 22 minutes.  Much happier with the color in the sky, but I didn't take as much time laying out the foreground and horizon line, so I'm not nearly as happy with that part of the painting.  

I'd be interested to know which version you like better! 

It's fun doing these little studies and they certainly point out why the Masters of painting did so many studies before tackling a large painting.  They point out areas that need improvement and help one to "see" better.  I definitely had better color in the first one, even though I didn't quite capture the sunset glow I was looking for.  The second one has better cloud shadows and a touch more of that sunset glow, but the rest of the colors came out more muted.  Both have their pluses and minuses! 

I'd like to do a larger painting of this one as well. Someday!  Both studies are 7"x 5", Winsor Newton Artisan Oils on Canvas board.  

FYI, all these little studies are all for sale.  $75.00 plus shipping and handling.  Payment via PayPal.  Let me know if you are interested! 



Unknown said…
They are both nice but I like the first one best. The colors are more vibrant and closer to what I'd expect to see at sunset in Colorado. Very nice for only 20 minutes!!!
Lori Hanby
Shirlee Fassell said…
Both are beautiful but I like first one best!
Jane Teague said…
I prefer the second painting, because it is softer and captures the sky color so nicely. More colors created interest, and blending made it more realistic. To me, sunsets are often more about the sky, so the landscape becomes somewhat secondary. I am not an experienced painter. This is just my artistic two cents. I enjoy your work!

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