Monday, May 25, 2009
Many artists who paint summer scenes are overwhelmed by GREEN. In fact many refuse to paint in the summer. We are pretty much through with the slime greens of spring but a few late trees are still around. This is such a scene. It was painted in glaring light and this is the original result from the plein air session.
Highway Over There, 8x10, Oil on canvas - Plein Air Version
The studio review of it revealed some value and green corrections to be made. To offset the green machine I added a bit of interest in the sky, and made the fence line a little more prominent. The picture is not yet available.
Greens are seldom "out of the tube" in nature. It is easy to get them garish and overwhelming. There is a lot of gray green out there. Don't even try to copy all the greens nature presents to you. If I have a green on my palette it is Viridian (or Pthalo Green for more power). Out of the tube it is a cold green, but it is a great mixer and can be sent either warmer or cooler and with levels of gray. A multitude of interesting mixed hues. Along with it I use Cadmium yellow light, Cadmium yellow deep, Cadmium orange, Alizarin, Cadmium red, Ultramarine, Yellow ochre, and Mineral violet. then you can shorten this list or add substitutions such as Cobalt blue for Ultramarine or Transparent red oxide for Cadmium orange and so forth. Titanium white rounds out the palette. For most mixtures of green I use at least three pigments and in the resultant colour pool I can make the paint cooler, warmer, lighter, darker, grayer and so forth.
The plein air painting was done with a #8 bristle filbert, as was the studio work the next day.