View Full Version : MOUNTAINS - HOMEWORK, Week 1

08-06-2011, 02:00 PM
The homework for this week is to post a reference photo (mountain theme), show how you would crop it and why, explain what you would do to modify the photo in painting it (stretching and shrinking elements, warming colors, whatever).

If you have time, go ahead and do a painting.

08-07-2011, 04:40 AM
Ok, I seem to be first out. Here is my photo from Italy. If anyone would like to have a go on this photo feel free to use it.
Lago di Barrea
The mountain at the back is the main object. I would stretch it to make it bigger and also to get rid of the tangent on the left. The mountains infront will get a more melodic line.
I will crop some off on the left side and at the bottom. The details in the no fly zone needs to be toned down by blurring.
I would make sure the different depth planes will be kept and exaggerated somewhat. Soft edges or lost and found.
The main mountain will have a sharp edge at the top.
I will keep the villages hinted for texture and intrest.
The bridge will go, I find it disturbing.


Massvalues, I have two suggestions

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Aug-2011/2623-moutain_class_mass_values.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Aug-2011/2623-moutain_class_value_2.jpg

I would add some light clouds in the sky. Just a little.

I will also change the colours. The image is too grey and too dark green.
Lavender in the main mountain. Not sure how to handle the massive woods though. Any suggestions?

08-07-2011, 03:53 PM
11"x14" on canvas board painted in Acrylics by Selma Kurylowich. I am thinking I should add some oils? I see I have it too centered. I should have croped more off the right hand side.

Original picture. I stretched the biggest mountain and made the foreground smaller.

08-07-2011, 04:14 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Aug-2011/305931-Mountainsforclass.jpg Tjis what I chose. Anyone can use it, it is from snow mountains wallpaper.
See changes I would make next. Valerie

08-07-2011, 04:18 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Aug-2011/305931-MountainsforclassCHANGES.jpg These are some of the changes I would warm up the mountain and overall picture. Valerie

Holly B.
08-07-2011, 08:01 PM
I found this photo of Mt. Rainier and like everything about it. Cropped 2/3-1/3, close to top & slightly off-center. The shapes are melodic and the light play creates the focal area right thru the center and a path through it.
The sketch shows my intended value masses...omg...we'll see how that goes.
Big fun.

08-08-2011, 12:24 AM
Johannes, here is a painting I did before the mountain course. I'm not real happy with the mountains, I like the rest much better.


08-08-2011, 09:20 AM

crop and use just the portion on the left.

the trees must be made melodic and of different sizes and colours.

the land jutting out must not resemble 'v' shapes and must be adjusted to show more planes and therefore depth.

the mountain peak on the left will be smaller and slightly soft edged.

the mountains will be blue violet and the snow patches will have the sky colours reflected in them and shadows and little dots to ground them .

not sure if i should add clouds/colour to the sky or crop it further...

thank you :)

08-08-2011, 05:59 PM
This a photo purchased fro Jo


Painting 16X20 in oils using three primaries, ultramarine blue, cad red mid, cad yellow mid



08-09-2011, 01:28 AM
Wow, Moyer, I like that!:D

08-09-2011, 01:15 PM
Wow, Moyer, I like that!:D

Thank you.

08-09-2011, 02:04 PM
okay Joe i told you i would try to do what you painted. Here is my first go at it. My trees are sick but i really have to work on those. But its a start let ya know im trying here LOL. ugh i just seen a bowl to got to fix that. I think my distant mountain needs to be a tad lighter it seems to close to the forward mountain to.

Johannes Instructor
08-09-2011, 03:51 PM
I will address your homework in class next Saturday so please be patient.

08-09-2011, 08:32 PM
Here is a mountain scene I have been wanting to paint since I took the photo while visiting the area last year. It is of Fox Glacier, New Zealand.

I would make the distant mountains more prominent, and add the peak to Mt Cook which is hidden in the clouds.
Lighten the patches of sunlight on the nearer hills.
Add golden patches to sunlight areas on the snow.
Make waterfalls more prominent.
Add blue sky reflections in water in the foreground.
Warm sand areas in the riverbed.


Original photo


My version for painting

08-09-2011, 08:53 PM
Here is my homework for this week. It is a painting I did in last June using one of your wonderful photos, Jo. First, the photo :


followed by the painting :


Any comment will be appreciated.

08-09-2011, 09:20 PM
Here is a painting of Milford Sound, New Zealand I did a few months ago. I would welcome improvement ideas on it.


08-10-2011, 07:02 PM
I chose this picture of "Three Fingered Jack" mountain which is located in the Cascade Range of Oregon. It is entirely formed by fluid lava flow (Shield Volcano) therefore you can see its shape has interesting melodic forms. I won't have to do much work just follow its shape. This photo was taken by my son when he went up to do mountain biking on a trail there. It has the elevation of 7,844 feet.

I would move up the peak of the mountain,
Leave snow patches to connect to each other. These patches are where the letter S denote snow.

Sky is Mid Light
Mountain is Mid Dark
Trees are Mid Value including foregrounds
The area in the foreground where there are +++ marks are supposed to be shadows, I am not sure whether it should be Mid Value or Mid dark (it can't be connected to mountain so maybe shadows should be Mid Value 6. Am I right?

Sandi C.

Sheri Hammond
08-10-2011, 07:29 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Aug-2011/678462-Salt_mt_resize_1.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Aug-2011/678462-Salt_mt_resize.jpg

I love this picture of Salt mountain in Arizona but I don't know if it would make a good painting. I cropped it and would move the water over to the right and leave out the low mountain on the left so there wouldn't be dead space ont he left. So glad to be back in class

Sheri Hammond
08-10-2011, 08:03 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Aug-2011/678462-Sierra_clouded_mt_resized_1.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Aug-2011/678462-Si


I took this picture in the Eastern Sierra Mountains of California. The clouds on top of the mountain and the mountain are what I want to emphasize so I cropped part of the sky and forground I think this could make a good watercolor.

Sheri Hammond
08-10-2011, 08:05 PM

Sorry the cropped image was left out by mistake

08-10-2011, 10:20 PM
So here is the original capture:


I flipped it horizontally, and would pull the mountains up higher, and stretch the red rocks a little more. I would probably scale down the shrubs so the mountains look a little more imposing.


I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who loves bare rock mountains.... I may try to paint it....

08-10-2011, 10:27 PM
Well, all I have to say is that for this course, I'm gonna be a 'hater'. I'm gonna hate all of you who live in places where you actually have mountains! We have hills covered with trees. Hardly a rock or interesting view to be had, unless you like solid masses of vegetation. OMG, I can't breathe!!!!!!!

painter 55
08-11-2011, 10:40 AM
Kitty Rue, I live in hot humid Florida but I love those rock mountains. I'd be inclined to paint the 2nd picture myself. Most of all I love those colors!

08-11-2011, 10:52 AM
Kittyrue, nor have I big mountains. I have to go abroad the get pictures of mountain and they are not as grand as those Joe shows us! So please don't hate us

08-11-2011, 11:02 AM
This is a picture of the Homer Spit in Alaska I took 2004.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Aug-2011/174457-Homer_Spit_Overlook7xx2.jpg

I will make sharper mountains, more contrast, minimize the amount of the bay, dull the light/dark contrast in the lower left corner. Possibly lose the tree branch in upper right but may need it for the distance to "read".

Johannes Instructor
08-11-2011, 11:02 AM
Once again please be patient. I will address your pictures in class this Saturday.

08-11-2011, 12:08 PM
As usual, Johannes´s course is fantastic. I have never painted mountains but lived close to the Andes in Peru almost ten years. Either did I think I one day would paint them. Though I took pictures with my old camera and now I took a picture from the paper copy with my little digital camera. Here is the original picture and my sketch with values. Looking very much forward to Saturday!


08-11-2011, 06:35 PM
Hi Johannes

This is a picture of Leyland Mountain from the Mcleod River, AB. I shrunk the river, brought the mountains closer and lowered the treeline. And I messed around with the colors. I'm sure the foothills are too warm/bright and so I glazed them a wee bit with some violet. Perhaps I should go further.....?
I used a knife to paint a lot of this picture and I have to say that I really liked using a palette knife.
Anyway, as usual, the photo never looks as good as the painting. Someday I'll run across some really good instructions on how to take a good photo of a painting.


The photo

Mass Thumbnail Sketch

The painting

08-11-2011, 06:52 PM
I decided that this photo had too much to it. I would crop the original make the mountain larger and eliminate the lake and foreground. Bring trees etc forward and show depth when I paint the values. I would warm the mountain and sky and perhaps add some warm clouds. I love the mountain and its snow, ridges etc.

08-12-2011, 12:58 AM
I would zoom in to focus on the Mt. and would probably crop out the forground bushes. I would lighten the trees, especially on the right and pay attention to eliminate any tangents. Otherwise I think this is a very good photo that would make a lovely painting.

08-12-2011, 08:56 AM
I missed our first mountain course so I have no idea what I am doing here ..simply trying to follow what we have learned before about values and planes. This is my first time using 'real' W&N oils as before I tried the water soluble ones and did not care for them. I have no idea why I was so afraid of this medium before.
Looking forward to the next class!

08-12-2011, 12:04 PM
Before I post - can I post a photo from Flickr that is clearly copyrighted? I tried to get permission to use it but so far no response.

08-12-2011, 12:43 PM
new photo I guess it is not much difference.


08-12-2011, 01:02 PM
This something I did a week or so before the class started. 9x12 on board. I haven't been able to get permission to post the reference photo, so here's the link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/locosteve/5658596797/sizes/m/in/set-72157623057376007/
I cropped the photo to get rid of the foreground lakeshore and much of the water. Raised the mountains up and eliminated most of the high-water mark on the reservoir. Bumped up the contrast and added some sun-light trees to give interest to the foreground.
After the class I went back to this and gave the far shoreline a more melodic line. Fixed some weird landforms "piercing" the lake and tried to get rid of some problems with the lines on the mountains. Not entirely successful on that.
I planned to make this much looser in style, but after doing the sky first, the rest of the painting seemed to want to go in this direction. IRL the sky is luminous - hard to get in a photo.

08-12-2011, 07:06 PM
Second part of homework (my first part is a painting I did some weeks ago, already posted) : a photo of mountains and what I would change. First, I went to your photos Jo and found this one

Next, the photo with some changes

As you may notice, I cropped the photo to remove a big part of the sky and also a part of the mountain on the right side. I would make the mountain a bit higher (see the blue line ?) I would also add some very very light clouds to put some life in this too perfect sky. I eliminated the tree in the middle (check the tree trunk on the original photo - not there on the modified one). I would greyish the trees in the back to make them look even farther. And, of course, I would make sure I don't have any straight line at the bottom of the trees, would make it more melodic (check the modified photo).
Any other suggestions ?

Holly B.
08-12-2011, 08:56 PM

Here is the nearly finished (acrylic) painting although the photo and sketch are on page one.

08-12-2011, 09:36 PM
I continued to work on the painting but will let it go for now until the Mountains Essentials course is behind me... not sure if it is overworked now which is a very bad habit of mine.

08-13-2011, 12:48 AM
I painted this mountian scene before the course started. I see lots of problems with this painting now. Lots of cloning going on here. There is a lack of melodic lines also. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Aug-2011/812842-serenity_for_the_soul.jpg

08-13-2011, 01:47 AM
:wave: http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Aug-2011/42526-Art_Mountian_4.jpg

After I cropped it.

Maybe round some of the sharp peaks. Remove some of the snow and some of the trees to make an entrance into the mountian. Make the mountian much taller...

08-13-2011, 12:04 PM
I have finished watching the first recording in order to catch up and I have already learned a lot about what to change in my painting. Good thing oils are so flexible. Looking forward to today.

08-13-2011, 12:13 PM
In this photo I would crop most of the sky, the left and right side crop out trees, and crop out most of the water to make the mountain the main focus, then make the waters edge uneven and vary the size, shapes and color of the trees more.For mountain color I would use varying shades of violet and red violet with more green added for the mountain in front.
Joyce Ayers

08-13-2011, 01:03 PM
Johannes really enjoying your classes and look forward to today. This is a watercolor I did for a WDE (Weekend drawing event) last October 2010 and would appreciate your critiquing this - I have included the photo from Denali National Park . Sorry I am looking after and aged Aunt and Mother at this time and have not had anytime to do some art. Having taken a few courses with you I now realize that the trees are not quite right. Also how do you handle snow in watercolor - do you just sort of touch it with a bit of pale ochre?
Thanks Kate

08-13-2011, 01:35 PM

Johannes, I am still working on this painting - it has a lot of work yet...

08-13-2011, 01:36 PM
Feel free to use the photograph! It's from Red Rock Park near Las Vegas, NV.


Kitty Rue, I live in hot humid Florida but I love those rock mountains. I'd be inclined to paint the 2nd picture myself. Most of all I love those colors!

R Leon
08-25-2011, 09:59 PM
I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who loves bare rock mountains.... I may try to paint it....


I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who loves bare rock mountains.... I may try to paint it....

Kitty, I love your second picture. And you are not the only one who loves bare rock mountains. Many of the western scenes are massive rock structures. Sedona, Arizona and Monument Valley are some of my favorite scenes. As well as Big Bend Texas and the mountains around Phoenix, the Bad Lands and Bryce. There is something stark and imposing about rock ridges that reduce the landscape to its simplest shapes.:thumbsup:

Johannes Instructor
09-10-2011, 07:33 PM
Johannes really enjoying your classes and look forward to today. This is a watercolor I did for a WDE (Weekend drawing event) last October 2010 and would appreciate your critiquing this - I have included the photo from Denali National Park . Sorry I am looking after and aged Aunt and Mother at this time and have not had anytime to do some art. Having taken a few courses with you I now realize that the trees are not quite right. Also how do you handle snow in watercolor - do you just sort of touch it with a bit of pale ochre?
Thanks Kate
I always say if the painting looks better than the photo then it is successful. This is the case in your painting. I would try not to have the diagonal tree trunk run out from the bottom though.