Plein Air Painting: Tackling a complicated subject

Have you ever felt like you have bitten off more than you can chew in one painting session?  Well this is exactly how I felt about this painting.  Because I really wanted to capture the topographical as well as the essence of the place I had to do this painting in stages.  The first stage involved a loose underpainting to lock in the perspective.  I kept the chroma understated and the values also somewhat subdued to allow for changes because I knew this painting would not be completed in one session.   The second day  I began to re-define the elements that would create a space and include major points of interest but how much should one include?  That has always been the challenge for me, knowing what to emphasize and what not to put in.  I do take all my cues from Nature.  I very rarely try to consciously change or move forms around but unknowingly stuff happens anyway.  I could not avoid the two vertical trees on the left of the canvas that stood like sentinels.  I love the large triangular rock formation that defines the left foreground corner.  The myriad of trees and brush and rocks were overwhelming.  I intentionally subdued the minutia of most of the middle and background just emphasizing the largest shapes that talked about the slope of the land behind the stream.  As for the stream itself there was a distinct pattern of cool and warm tones which really helped define it.  I wanted to also express the ripples in the stream which were very challenging.  

DAY 1.  

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