There is a little mountain around here that I keep looking at and keep being amazed at how quickly the shadows and the colors of it change throughout the day. In real life, it is a regular brown piece of earth and stone. Once in a while, though, it takes on a fantastic orange color with deep purple shadows. Now, my landscapes are not...very good. I just get lost in all the subtle variations of light and shade and get frustrated when the painting doesn't communicate the awe I feel when I look at nature. But sometimes I fall into the trap of trying landscapes again and again. We are currently staying at our friend's house, which has a nice second-floor balcony with an unobstructed view at the above mentioned mountain. A perfect spot for painting (until about 3 pm when it starts getting cold). So I did it. I tried painting the orange mountain, even though it's not particularly orange today.
Obviously, this is a good example of how much I suck at landscapes. I got excited about the colors, jumped into it without waiting for the paint to dry, and messed up the values. So much for that.
So...I decided to slow down and do a study. Of course, you usually do a study before the big painting but this time I was just so excited about the colors I plunged right into it. Anyway, here is the study, done slowly and methodically:
The color is much more subdued but the layered washes look cleaner, in my opinion. It captures the form and nature of the mountain much more accurately. First one still seems to be a better expression of the idea of this mountain that I had in my head, where the orange color dominates and the shadows are incredibly blue but I like the second, slower study more.
Bonus: another mountain that i sketched sometime last month: