Here is an update.... the foreground has been layed in and surprisingly it ended up quite dark. I really didn't want the foreground to hold the viewers attention for long, but let it gradually follow the water up thru the trees and into the background.
Here is a small update as I didn't have much drawing time this week. Continued to work on the middle-area rocks, crevices and shadows. I've also sketched in the foreground rocks and placement of the wildflowers.
At first glance of the scene, the cracks in the rocky landscape may "visually look" like nothing more than a line. But if you observe closer, you will see the irregularity of the crack or crevice. It will be darker and wider where the crack is more open and thinner and lighter where it is narrower. Closer observation and understanding of "what" you are looking at will help you determine that a straight and evenly applied pencil stroke will not realistically represent that crevice.
Let's take a focused look at a crevice in this rocky landscape. Here is a section enlarged. Mentally describe to yourself what you are seeing. "The ends of the crevice taper. There are darker shadows where the drop off is more vertical. The edges are not all smooth." This mental description will help you coordinate your eye to mind to hand dexterity. You will not just draw a straight line to represent it because you now know it's not just a straight line.
The more you observe, the more you understand what you are drawing, the more realistic your drawing will become.
The background is proving to be a challenge. Balancing the shadows and level of detail is so important. The scene is slowly coming together.
My son lives just 4 hours south of Yosemite National Park. Labor Day weekend, he and a friend went day backpacking through the Ansel Adams Wilderness just east of Yosemite. It was a tough hike, but they made it to Ediza Lake, camped overnight and then hiked back to Agnew Meadows. Matt got some really awesome photos for me. What a beautiful scene of my favorite subjects, rocks, water and trees!