Here is a demo as the painting progressed.....
The sky...easiest part. I block in my white and blues letting them slightly overlap and then fan it till it looks good to me. I left the tree area unpainted at this point. The distant landmass is just a darkened mix of the blue sky color.
After that I added the basic distant bluff color and then added the foliage. I get the colors close to what I want but I'll go back in later to adjust it near the end...greying down the greens and adding little specks of white here and there to suggest detail. A while back I used to try and paint these sections as finished sections but I've found it is easier not to waste all of that time and to allow myself to dial in the colors once the painting is just about completed. It's easier to tie in the fore,mid and backgrounds together as the painting is in that almost completed stage. Now I begin blocking in the foreground bluff and then using a knife to apply thicker textures of paint and small details. I will go in and smooth areas with a large brush switching back and forth between filberts and flats. It was a chore here and I'd go so far, stop...go check my email or eat and then come back for another look...or another beating, haha. I didn't like that right top corner of the bluff and lowered that area. Eventually it came together and got to a point where you say "this is it. it's time to take the lessons learned on this painting and move on to use them in the next painting". That is how I usually end a painting. You see where you concourged and where you were just along for the ride....you have to stop and really study where you were just along for the ride so you can make improvements there. Ususally, you can't really see the answer to the problem there because if you could you'd get out your brushes and fix it. So, you just take a good look, think and make yourself try that area in another upcoming painting. You go look at other artists work to see how they handled it. I don't subscribe to the theory that if you paint paintings like a machine gun spits out bullets that somehow you will suddenly one day do it right...you have to actually stop and think. You have to be intellectual and figure out what is going wrong. Call an artist friend and ask how they handle it. Get out your art books and read...look...and paint again. Hey, they aren't always going to end up a masterpiece but you give it the best try you can...each and everytime you paint. Keep doing that and you can't help but get better. I'm happy with this one and think it will enable me to one day crank out a masterpiece.... "Gaviota Bluffs"
22" X 28" Oil on Canvas