Red and Blue Can Make Green

aftertheraiinlowres

I’m not fond of the color green. As a landscape painter that can be a bit of a problem. I’ve tried mixes of warm and cool yellows with warm and cool blues and I use some of those mixes in my paintings. I can’t say they make my heart sing.

So my challenge is to create peaceful, soft landscapes using as little green or yellow-green as possible. I push my greens towards blue-green ( or yellow, or orange, or…)!

A few months ago I painted a blue foreground that seemed a little strident. I toned the blue with a glaze of transparent red iron oxide and a whole new world opened to me.

Using red and blue (Transparent Red Iron Oxide and Phthalo Blue (green shade)) I get a somewhat transparent green that can range in value from very dark to soft and light. It’s a green that makes me happy. Add a little more blue to the mix and the color becomes blue-green, add a little more of the red oxide and the green becomes very dark, add white and it’s a softer, lighter green. Mix with other colors on my palette and it holds its own. It’s a rich color mix that keeps me interested.

Using this red and blue combination with some bit players added for contrast, I built the above painting, “After the Rain”, 12″ x 16″ on cradle board. And in the photo below, I present my latest palette for landscape painting.

paintsformarchblog
Share this post:FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

Plein Air From Inside My Window

frontyard

There’s something about winter that’s quiet and comforting. Several feet of snow deaden any sound and there’s a pristine, untouched look to the landscape when you live in the country.

That’s why I’m enjoying painting winter landscapes – both the process and the effect are calming.

My studio has a north-facing window. I set up my easel facing west and I see the image above.

I turn my easel to the east and I find the source material for “White Pine”, below.

whitepine

Then I move the easel a little to the right and I can paint “Backyard Winter”, below.

backyardwinter

I like to call these plein air paintings, but I’m looking through the window, I’m not actually outside. But hey, it’s minus 35 out there…and I’m no fool!!

Next on my list of projects is a version of the image below. And I can take my time. It looks like the snow won’t be going anywhere soon.

backyard

Share this post:FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

A Quick Look at Painting with a Knife

Look quickly. This video will take you through a painting from start to finish in three minutes. I only wish I could paint that fast! I wanted to show you how I paint several of my images using a palette knife and shop towel, and I wanted to show that process from start to finish.

I painted the background an all over red-orange to begin, thinking the color would glow through in the final product. It doesn’t, but I learned long ago not to fall in love with any particular color or shape in the painting process. It’s all subject to change.

The video shows how I work back and forth between foreground and background and how I soften some of the sharp edges using a shop towel (with a little water if I’ve left the paint too long and it starts to set up before I can manipulate the color).

I mostly work from light values to dark values. I mix the color value with the knife then just kiss the surface of the painting with the knife to apply the paint. I work wet in wet when I want the colors to blend on the surface but I’ll let the colors dry when I want crisp, clear color changes.

The painting is an 8″ x 8″ acrylic painted on cradle board that was sealed and gessoed.
yellowfields8x8
Share this post:FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail