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Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Tip for Painting Green Landscapes

'Signs of Spring' 10x10 pastel ©Karen Margulis
painting available for $95 with paypal or check click here

Everything is turning green! I live in the Land of Green so it is important to know how to deal with the many greens in the landscape. It is a challenge to paint a very green landscape and make the color interesting rather than all green. You can certainly use just variations of green, dark,light,warm & cool to make a green landscape read correctly but it may not be very exciting.
Richard McKinley teaches about the 'Secret of Green' in his writings and workshops. Knowing this 'secret' and how to make greens more interesting has made a big difference in how I paint the landscape. Richard teaches that the secret of green is orange and violet is the friend. I like to say that Green Loves Red & Orange and likes Purple to visit too. So what does this mean for your paintings?
  • Introduce some orange or red in your green masses and add a little purple somewhere instead of only using green by itself.
  • Underpainting with these colors is an easy way to introduce them. (though it's not the only way)
  • See how I have some orange underneath my grasses in today's painting? This was the underpainting. The purples were added as I added pastel.

Sometimes we think we need every imaginable green pastel or tube of paint to paint a green landscape. But as you can see, knowing how to make your greens more interesting with other colors is helpful to keeping your palette simple.

If you wish to read more about Richard McKinley's secret to green and why it works see his post in the Pastel Pointer's blog Here


Clipping Path said...

Wow beautiful painting i am so wonder after visit your post. Thanks a lot for sharing with us !!

robertsloan2art said...

Gorgeous painting and great advice. I didn't believe it till I tried it - and they don't have to be mid value bright versions of the other secondary colors either.

Using deep dark violet in the deepest shadows is much more powerful than using deep dark green. V100 from Terry Ludwig is a joy, it seems darker than black - in any low key painting that V100 can be the most effective "black" and look much more vibrant.

Peach counts as orange. Tints of orange are still orange. So are the deeper browns that are orange shades. Muted hues like violet gray, warm brown, olive green are still where they are in the color family. So letting the green predominate but giving it those two companions can come out very rich without looking like a Mardi Gras poster.

Karen said...

Thank you very much for the comments!
Robert you said it so well! I meant to add that it doesnt have to be the mid value bright versions to count. I'm glad you pointed that out! I appreciate your input!

robertsloan2art said...

Thank you, Karen!

You're my role model for blogging now. I've got a subscription through email and I have to read each day's entry to get my pastel fix.

I'm going to start doing small daily paintings soon. Hopefully I can keep it up five days a week, health permitting.

Anonymous said...

This is a gorgeous painting, Karen. I love that tree! The orange and purple do set off the greens nicely.