My dear friends, 

This article was intended as a visual help to understand how to improve a painting and create space inside it  

I hope it will help to make your artistic journey more interesting. 

Thanks to Dave J who volunteered his painting to this article. 

I tried to explain in the comment under the painting, but that is something that is better to see one time with your own eyes than to read three thousand times. This is how little tweaks in paint can bring the distance in the painting. 

I made it in Paint app on my computer, thus the quality of edits is not superb, but you will get the idea. 

1. I fixed the border of the mountain to cover it with the snow. The dark outline moves entire mountain closer to the viewer and creates surreal impression 

2. To create distance I added color of sky into snow (read it as in titanium white paint). As an advice in general do not use TW out of the tube to create snow on the mountains. Always mix TW with sky color even on the highlighted side. The entire mountain needs to be more like sky color when the sun is up-high between 11AM to 2 PM.

2a. When the sun is low and behind mountains, mountains are purple gray, no pure phthalo blue can pop-up in the evening/morning mountains. But cold pinks, cold purples of various shades are welcome.

3. In the hills I made the value of the hills immediate to the mountains lighter; you can see some progression of value change within those hills. This is done by mixing sky color (whitened blue) to the dark paint for the hills.

4. For water lines in the distance I muted pure white that was used with water color, as at this distance we will not see those water lines unless there is a storm on the other side of the lake. It is again about not using pure TW out of the tube and mixing it with other colors on pallet rather than on canvas. 

5. It may be a lot to take in and remember about it when creating a new masterpiece, but with your own practice you will be able to notice these things in art museums too.


Now the edited version in Paint:


Now the version with a practice piece from Dave. This is amazing how creative Dave got to learn those tweaks and he overlaid small canvas on top of a big 16x20 inch. 


This is Bob Ross' version that was initial inspiration:


Please visit final painting Dave made Here

It was a nice collaboration project to do together! 


Sunnylady and Dave J