These are three images of the tree in the landscape I'm working on: the block-in, second stage and third stage. I've since added a few brushstrokes to it. What I can say about it in a few words (pictures are worth a thousand...) is that there's a simple value study to begin; light and dark, or sunlight and shadow with plenty of airiness from the first image to the last. I'm trying to keep it light and airy because of the tree being against the sky. Don't be afraid to pop in a few skyholes to keep it light and don't reach for anything too dark in the shadows. This takes a lot of work -- comparing, keeping the whole painting in mind without focusing totally on the one thing you are painting. And.....don't paint that trunk too dark. Yes, it's dark, but it's a dark surrounded by a light sky and a light background. It pains me to see tree trunks painted in black by new artists who haven't gone out and painted outside. I am now working on the reeds, snow and sticks in the right foreground. I was away for about 10 days on a trip to North Carolina to the John C. Campbell Folk School doing a Woodturning class. More about that later.