Tweaking the sky and background
In this final phase of painting, I have to decide which parts are OK and which parts need work. For right now, I think the sky is OK, but I have four clouds about the same size retreating into the distance, which I might change later. First to the more troubling spots.
The background mountains were bothering me...they didn't make good sense. Last month I returned to the site in Pennsylvania and took more photos to explain the ridges, the buildings and the trees. With clearer information, I redid a lot of the background. The houses are now the right size, and the transition from middle ground to background is more gradual. I lightened some shadows and cooled some lights.
Then I tackled the tree. I didn't like the foliage: it was harsh and ugly. I painted over it with thin sky color and reworked the foliage into the wet paint. It is now soft and airy, but I can't go any further on it since it is so wet. It needs sky holes and shadow accents under a few limbs.