During my workshop at Scottsdale Artists School last week with Thomas Kitts, we were given an assignment to paint a simple color study:
Here is my 8x10 color study from Lost Dutchman State Park. The focus of this assignment was to use only two values for each subject: one value for the shadowed side, and one value for the light side. While the whole painting has about 4 values in it, each object should only have two. Any variations in one side are to be made with changes in color temperature or saturation.
I found this assignment really helpful in terms of composition and design.
After critiquing the study, we were instructed to create a larger studio painting from it. I chose to go with a 16x20 panel.
I lowered the horizontal line in the foreground, in order to make the mountain seem more massive. Because it was lowered, I added an extra bit of sky showing at the top, hinting at how jagged the top of the mountain is. I also extended the distant highlight into the central boulder, which I think helps break up the central space.
I also did a study of a palo verde in the field, which I referenced when painting the tree in the foreground. I'll post that study tomorrow.