Usually, I paint from a value sketch with a particular story in mind. This piece started as a simple color study and just kind of meandered into a scene as I experimented with a lot of different moods and compositions along the way. Not an efficient process... but it was actually really fun and let me enjoy the journey more than I’m sometimes able! I wanted to try an atypical value scheme here, losing the figures amongst the trees instead of popping them forward like I’d usually do. But perhaps I pushed it too far. What do you think? Sometimes I wonder if I try too hard to make clever composition choices, instead of doing what I know will be effective. But I also don't want to just rely on the same tricks all the time.