Wednesday was the beginning of Laurel Daniel's latest plein air class. This first day, we worked in the classroom from photos, because of the weather. Laurel walked us through an extremely helpful, group step-by-step demo of blocking in the main values in a landscape (see Cedars Study, above), after explaining the theory of planes and atmospheric perspective. Boy, I thought I knew it, which I did in my head, but the demo showed me I've been ignoring certain elements of the process when actually painting. That is, primarily, that those relationships must hold true within each general distance range of the painting, (foreground, middle ground, and background), and in addition that each of those succeeding distance planes must correctly relate to one another. It's hard to put it all into words, which I guess explains why actually doing this exercise was so helpful and so important.
This second study was also from the first class, where we were to go through the above-mentioned process on our own, using a photo of our own. Mountain Pasture is from another photo taken while in Colorado.