Here is a painting in my "Southern Landscape" series that I've just completed. This painting shows an early morning Virginia scene of fog rising from the earth on a summer's day. I painted a smaller similar version of this scene some time ago and when I finished that one I knew I wanted to see it on a larger scale:
"Lifting Fog II" Oil on Canvas, 24x36" (SOLD) ©Jennifer Young
I mentioned the other day that these last paintings I've been doing of early evening scenes are lessons in value comparisons. I can say the same for this early morning scene as well. The values are fairly close together in some cases and the value shifts are very subtle, so it can take some doing to differentiate one from another.
The main thing I do is just to compare, compare, compare. I will mix a big load of color on my palette and dab a bit on the area of canvas that I'm working on, compare that to the other surrounding values before I commit.
Color temperature (warm vs. cool color) as well as color intensity are other elements that help describe atmospheric perspective in a painting, especially when the values are very close together.
So, for instance, if I want to push a part of the landscape back into the picture plane to add depth, I may cool this area down, gray it down, or use less contrast (or all 3), as I've done with the above lines of trees at varying distances.
By a similar notion, if I want to push a part of the landscape forward I may use more contrast, as well as warmer, more local colors as I did in the twilight painting from my previous post. Of course, with a blazing sunset in the sky all of this gets a little tricky, but that is part of the fun!