Painting the Middle Ground
Working from back to front, I started with the trees backing up to the mountains. I then painted the flat plane of the land, alternating grassy colors with pinkish-tan areas of dirt indicating paths and bare areas. Then I worked some of the middle ground trees attempting to make them individuals and not out of a tree cookie-cutter. I have indicated some grassy areas on the left, but may have to mass that more and save the texture for the foreground.
I will finish the middle ground in the next step, which will include the stream and the large tree on the right.
Having just returned from two painting trips: one to western Pennsylvania where this scene is and the other to Sky Meadows State Park in Virginia, I have been keenly aware of the variations in trees, and there are thousands. I wish I could have stopped along the road and painted each and every one to keep as reference material.
It is time to arrive at a new title for this painting, the original being "Shawnee Valley." I would appreciate any input you have for titling this new painting. I would prefer not to use the word "Shawnee," but it can be valley something, or something valley. I will consider all your suggestions. Please don't be shy.