Thursday, February 6, 2014


One of the most common problems I see in my students' work is depicting the greens in foliage.  The tendency is to overmix the greens on the palette which results in a dull, flat looking shape. There are several ways to avoid this problem.

Blue and yellow make green.  Use different blues and yellows in various combinations.  The variety of plants and trees will suggest which ones are bluer and which lean toward the yellow side.

Mix the blues and yellows on the paper.  Wet in wet will help mingle the two colors.

Remember that yellow is the first color to disappear in the distance.  The farther the foliage is from the foreground, the bluer and lighter will the trees appear.

When you place a green on the paper, pick up an earth tone or add a touch of violet for variety.

Try not to drag the brush to create too much texture.  Think shapes of foliage rather than individual leaves.  Show texture at the edge of the shape.

Look carefully at the color in front of you.  Pine needles can be green, but when they start to die, they turn orange.  Use both colors.  Observe before you paint!

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