Thursday, July 10, 2014

Screamin' Greens

This month I decided to tackle a subject with my local students that has always been--and still is--a challenge to me...painting green foliage, especially when presented as the dreaded wall of green in the landscape.

To simply try and match the hue that you see in the landscape (from either your photo or painting on location) can produce a monotonous painting. And I find that matching an accurate color temperature rather than a particular hue can capture the look and mood of the landscape more accurately, especially when working from a photograph.

Below are my demos from my oil and pastel classes. After I finished up my oil demo (study 1), I later decided to make an exercise of it for myself and continue to play around with color temperature, and try a slightly cooler palette overall (study 2). I have to say I think the first one captured the warm light a little better with the emphasis on the warms. But I suppose I just had to try the difference for myself to see that. (If I wasn't out of small panels, I would have painted a second version instead of on top of the first one!)

green foliage study 1 - oil

green foliage study 2 - oil

green foliage study 3 - pastel
With my pastel demo, the more muted treatment of the brighter greens indicated in the reference photo allows the area at the base of the trees to become a stronger focal point.

reference photo for oil study

reference photo for pastel study
We'll probably revisit those tricky screamin' greens again next month!


  1. I love all three, specially maybe the first study, I think. Thanks for sharing.