I couldn't get out of the car because it was so windy my eyes kept watering and I couldn't keep my paper still, so I sat in the car. I felt a little cramped in the front seat of my Ford Explorer, but it was better than fighting the elements! I took a few photos for reference, in case I wanted to work up a painting back at home.
The sketch took me 30 minutes and I could see without looking at the photo, the values (lights and darks) are all too dark. I lightened the sky back in the studio, because it looked off to me. I looked at the photos for the first time today, and I'm shocked to see how far off I am in so many ways. I'm definitely out of practice!
The values are definitely off - way off! Look at the forsythia. Look at the grass. And the sky! All too dark. And then there's the composition. The bushes in my painting go straight back, cutting the picture perfectly in half. It's too symmetrical and static, which is not good. The photo has a dynamic diagonal going off to the right in the central line of bushes, giving the composition movement and interest. And the horizon is too low in my painting. See how a higher horizon gives the composition even more balance? So my next project is to redo the painting from the photograph. I hope it will teach me to see things more clearly when I'm out in the field. It's a great learning exercise.