I love landscape paintings.
I've never been particularly good at painting, but I allow myself to play from time to time. I was watching an episode on youtube with landscape painter / Buddha / guru Bill Alexander when I decided I would get over my fear of messing up and just see what happened if I were to take brush to canvas.
Here's the vid I worked with:
And here's what I wound up with:
Bill definitely did a better job than I did, but I was happy to have gone through the motions. After about a day though, I started feeling that familiar itch. I can do better.
I started breaking the image down into geometric planes, grabbing details and colors from my painting. I felt like there was something more to this image than the overly-detailed painting held. It's the neat-freak in me; I like to take complicated ideas and boil them down to their core components.
I dialed the image all the way back to it's most basic to see what I was really dealing with. Though it seemed like Bill was improvising, the form of the painting was decidedly a gigantic 'X'. He placed particular emphasis on a strong luminescent source in the upper left corner of the canvas. This sunlight was the most important part of the painting.
I continued working detail back into the piece, being careful not to get too busy. It's a tough balance to strike in digital space, as Illustrator is more than happy to let you play at 4000% magnification and beyond. Sometimes I wish there was a way to cap the zoom tool at 100%.
Mountains; trees; sunlight. I forced myself to stop shortly after this point, adding texture for effect to wrap it all up.