Plein air painting, painting outdoors on location, is one of my favorite things and I did this painting during a workshop in Tuscany Italy.  The weather was perfect for the entire workshop and scenes like this were everywhere.  As a demonstration, I talked about this painting in terms of middle ground, back ground, and foreground.  The gray and blue hills are the background, the area with the house and cyprus trees is the middle ground and the green hills with the garden are the foreground.  In landscape painting the middle ground often contains the most interest with a big value range, more details, warm and cool colors, and different ways to direct the viewers eye.  The large gray hills on the left and the dark values at their base are used to balance the painting so that the house and cyprus trees don’t tip the painting to the right.  I will be posting more plein air paintings on my blog and starting in May I will be teaching an Urban Sketchers Workshop here in Denver where we will be doing lots of plein air painting.  If you would like information on the workshop send me an email to