Wednesday, 2 March 2016


 Last week I sold two large paintings including my last spring woodland scene, so I decided that I'd revisit by favourite Beech tree in Grosmont woods. I love trying to capture the vibrancy of the new spring growth especially when it's cold and grey outside. Over the last couple of weeks I've been practicing on small pieces in preparation for this one.

So this would be a good time to talk about greens. Green should just be blue mixed with yellow as we all learnt in primary (junior) school. However I've spent the day throwing all kinds of colours into the mix, including Prussian blue, pthalo blue, violet, mauve blue, burnt sienna, lemon yellow, yellow ochre, cadmium orange, cadmium yellow and Winsor green (pthalo green).

There are many ways of mixing effective greens and sometimes it is fun to allow yourself to run out of your main colours so that you are forced to get inventive. Currently I have no French ultra marine.I like to concentrate on warming the sunlit colours and keeping the shadows dark and cool. It's very tempting to get the tube of black out...but black is for wimps and doesn't blend so well. The hardest part is keeping the whites and yellows clean.

My intention when I set off was to use a large quantity of purple in the distance and shadows so that hopefully when it came to putting in the very yellowy greens of the sunlit areas the would stand out.
My distant colours ended up being a mix of Prussian blue, Winsor violet and burnt sienna or yellow ochre. Then to develop the shadows I started introducing pthalo green but cooled right down with Prussian blue and pthalo blue.

As I started moving into the sunlit areas I started mixing burnt sienna into the pthalo green which gives a gorgeous colour with real depth. For the very sunlight exposed areas I used white with small amounts of lemon and Winsor yellow. I then blended the yellows into the warm greens to get a nice transition.

The picture is now basically finished, tomorrow I will spend a few hours tweaking it but I doubt it will change anything significantly. I'm sat here with a brain like mush but hopefully the boy done good.

For a much simpler explanation of the way I tackle greens try this

1 comment:

Word Weaver Art said...

Wow... this is beautiful. I loved watching your process.