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Anyone have some suggestions on other ways to represent distance for this type of painting?

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Don't think you could do any better. Great. Where is Edgar Alan Poe?

I think it is a wonderful painting let down by the composition and colour of the background.Had the horizon been much lower the crows would stand out even more against the pale sky.The background colour doesn't complement the colour of the fence so spoils the brilliant attention to detail.

I always try to remember 1/3 landscape to 2/3 sky,or the other way round and avoid the painting being in two halves.

I'm going to seem like a rebel...but just OWN the piece...take the advice if it really bothers you.  I have seen great works that have broken rules...and sometimes you can't do something great if you follow everything...just be brave and do what YOU think you need to do if anything.  People will ALWAYS have advice. There will always be hundreds of things you could do differently..It's art because it's YOURS...if you paint for everyone else....I'd best stop...  I think the painting is very good.  The crows are strong enough to grab you and your fence post and bright light moves you around ( for me anyway). 

Part of the distant landscape (right) is softer in appearance, as it should be, but that does not carry across the plane to the left of the birds. May I suggest that, as the landscape gets farther in the distance, the intensity of color should begin fade but not drop off as quickly as seen on the right side here. Then carry that across the entire background plane. Hope this helps as the foreground is so nicely rendered.

Hi Eric, I'm wondering what it is you are truly trying to achieve? As a painting, is your true goal to be as realistic as possible? Is this a work in progress or is it finished? What is it in the distance you are trying to achieve? Is it wanting to separate the fence and crows from the rest of the landscape? Are you trying to create more depth from foreground to background within the background landscape? It helps me to quantify all of my goals so I know what I'm trying to get. It helps me know when a work is finished as well.

If you want to just separate the crows and fence from the background, all you need to do is blur the background some more. If you want the background to have more depth, blur the farthest mountains slightly and add more blue, which gives the illusion of depth (in the photographic sense).

Good stuff, I want to know what the crows are thinking?

Excellent comment, Andy

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