In class we had some practice making quick (or not so quick) studies that were meant to embody the feeling you wanted to see in a finished painting. With the study in hand, you can assess how effectively you manipulated value, color, wetness and composition to support your primary purpose. If the feeling of elemental power you hoped to see in your seascape, for example, was not quite as powerful as you intended, what might you adjust to enhance the feeling?
I have posted the images here that we worked with today. Pick one that appeals to you, and make one of those five minute studies. Did your choice of colors support the "important thing" you identified? Do the values of the major shapes contribute to your main goal? The list of variables is short (composition, value, color, wetness) . Consider them one at a time, and take notes about the changes you want to make. Make a proper painting based on what you learned from the process.
Here's an example. I like that this image suggests both a challenge and an opportunity. Here's the path. Good luck with the mud.
I want that mud to be really obvious, but I don't want it to be fussy. I need to find a way to simplify it so that it can be understood at a glance. Some practice is called for. To inform the process, I'll go down the list, value first:
The white in the path is what tells us it's wet. The shape is at least fifty percent white.
A little bit of blue here and there will help speak of reflectivity.
The darks in the path have hard edges, the lights less so.
Opening up the bottom edge of the path shape by extending its right side further to the right will make it more unavoidable, as if " you have no choice but to step here."
These observations will make my practice versions of the muddy path easier. Bring it on!