Tuesday, March 16, 2010


A couple of entries ago, I spoke about the scariest color: red. But greens are also a trouble spot for many landscape painters.

One reason that greens are problematic is that it is so easy to end up with a dull, uniform muddy color. When painting a group of background trees, try to slip some warm and cool colors into the shape.

Also, don't forget that treelines in the distance interlock with the sky shape, so beware of the tree top lines so they don't become a straight line.

And finally, consider the possibility that the trees in the background don't come in aid of your painting. The greens may clash with the foreground colors or the values may box in the foreground shapes.

I painted this scene on location in New London, New Hampshire. After a couple of years of including the background trees and being frustrated with the result, I decided to omit them altogether. So this lesson on background trees is that in some cases it's better to just leave them out!

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