//Art Tip: 4 value planes of landscape composition

Art Tip: 4 value planes of landscape composition

By |2018-04-16T12:22:50+00:00June 13th, 2012|Categories: Archive|Tags: |2 Comments

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

About the Author:

Award-winning Illustrator, Artist, and Creator Kiri Østergaard Leonard happily share her experiences making a living as an artist and pursuing a creative life. She grew up in a tiny village in the Kingdom of 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. Marius November 27, 2017 at 4:05 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing these important planes of landscape composition. I’m a newbie in painting and would implement this new information acquired.

  2. Wojtek June 13, 2012 at 12:45 pm - Reply

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


Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.