Art Tip: 4 value planes of landscape composition

I heard this lesson from Kurt Huggins of Teethering Bulb when I attended his girlfriend Zelda’s workshop a few months ago. Unfortunately I do not remember where Kurt said he heard it from.

There is a rule of four values in landscape compositions and it is as follows:

The sky is always the lightest value, even at night time. After the sky comes the ground, it is the second lightest. Then comes incline planes, such as hills, and the darkest value will always be objects such as trees. So from light to dark it is:

1. Sky
2. Ground
3. Incline Planes
4. Trees

[EDIT] Noah Bradley has informed me this lesson is from the Reilly Papers.

Teethering Bulb Portfolio

Kiri Østergaard Leonard

Award winning Illustrator, Artist and Creator Kiri Østergaard Leonard happily shares her experiences making a living as an artist and pursuing a creative life. She grew up in a tiny village in Denmark, left her country behind to pursue art in the bustle of New York City and now resides in the delightful weirdness of Austin, Texas surrounded by sunshine and felines.

1 Comment

  • Wojtek

    13.06.2012 at 12:45 Reply

    Great post! Thanks for metioning this technique. Will try to think of that in the next enviro painting 🙂


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