Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Trouble With Greens

                                   "The Sunken Garden"

Of all the colors on a watercolorist's palette, it seems that greens give us the most trouble.  Oftentimes, I see my students produce repetitious greens that are dull and lack life. 

Many times I will begin foliage with a wash of yellow.  That will be the base light wash.  On top of this you can place blues (because blue and yellow make green), mixed greens, warm greens, and violets. 

It also helps to find ways to gradate the foliage from light to midtones to darks.  Study the upper right hand corner of this painting and you'll see what I mean.

If you are balancing two masses of greens, it is helpful to make one side dark and the other lighter; make one side warm and the other cool; and one side larger in shape than the other.

And don't forget that the complement of green is red.  The pinkish tone of the brick sidewalk provides a perfect foil for all that green. 

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