Studies for La Malbaie

One aspect of my landscape paintings that I’d like to improve is the sense of space and depth.  I suspect that I’m too easily led astray by my crystal-clear reference photographs, such as this one, below:

La Malbaie reference photograph
La Malbaie – Wish I was there right now! (okay, well, maybe not RIGHT now, because it’s October and cold and rainy right now)

So of course, this means that I have to do studies!  Here is that same scene, but broken down in 3-D lineart…

La Malbaie depth map study
La Mabaie Depth Map Study, Photoshop, using Kyle T. Webster’s HB Pencil brush.

… then simplified to 4-5 grey values…

La Malbaie 4-5 value study
La Malbaie 4-5 Value Study, Photoshop, using Kyle T. Webster’s Gouache brushes.

… and finally, a detailed value study!

La Malbaie value study
La Malbaie Value Study, Photoshop

I can’t say I’m %100 satisfied with the mountain in the background, but those foreground trees and that road really pop!  Full disclosure: I actually broke my own rule and used all kinds of crazy Photoshop brushes to create the pine trees.  The more of these landscape studies I do, the more I move away from traditional media and embrace the digital.

2 thoughts on “Studies for La Malbaie

  1. Thank you Emma for breaking down the steps in photoshop. I really didn’t know how it all works. Jim bought me a tablet called “Bamboo” years ago. I am suppose to be able to draw with it on a downloaded photo. I have never tried it. Maybe I will be brave enough to try now.


    1. Painting with a tablet certainly takes some getting used to, but it’s second nature to me now! What can be harder to master is the wealth of Photoshop brushes at your disposal. 😉


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