Thursday, March 16, 2017

50 Shades of GREEN

Color Mixing & Celebrating Spring

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! By all means, sip up the green beer, have green eggs and ham (blegh!), wear green (or, sometimes, orange), and pinch away at everyone who doesn’t play along, but for us artists this holiday means indulging the opportunity to celebrate the earthy, greedy, jealous, fertile, energetic color of GREEN.

Hooker’s Green — Be Aware! No Two Are Alike

Soon Warren tackles the troubleshooting topic of color mixing, specifically how one green–Hooker’s Green–looks completely different depending on what brand you use. >>See the full article here.<<

Color mixing the color green.


Going Green! Revitalize Your Palette

The gracious, lovely, generous editors of The Artist’s Magazine give us a sneak preview of an article from their upcoming June 2017 issue by Michael Chesley Johnson. It serves up a heaping helping of mixed and tubed greens that will get the lushness of Mother Nature back into your palette in a major way and get you set for spring.

Color-mixing-going-green-tamMichael discusses the key roles for greens and the fact that it is only one of two colors on the color wheel that can be considered both warm and cool. That means that in landscapes, where green dominates, you have so many tricks up your sleeve for color mixing if you keep his tips in mind. >>Download the entire sneak peek article, Going Green, here.<<

Acrylic Painting & The Color Green

Color mixing and acrylic painting the color green.

For Chris Cozen, color is an adventure. She reminds us that the color green is not the same everywhere. It changes based on region, humidity, seasonality, and access to sunlight.

-In the US, the western states see dusty drought-tolerant greens and deep forest greens.

-In the Midwest, there is a liveliness of spring greens, with their perky, acid-toned bright greens, the soft pale green of the first leaves and the luscious rich true greens of the full-on summer.

-No matter where you go, each tree variety brings its own special formula into the picture.

-And most of all, the more you can eke out the warms and cools of your greens, the more you will be able to fully capture the landscape you see.

>>Read Chris’s full article on Acrylic Painting & the Color Green here.<<


Black Is the New Green

A portrait of Carolus-Duran by Sargent, showcasing the black-yellow ochre potentials for greens in the sitter's jacket.

A portrait of Carolus-Duran by Sargent, showcasing the black-yellow ochre potentials for greens.

Now that traditional representational painting is seeing something of a revival in art galleries, there is a lot of interest among painters in the techniques employed by masters of the oil painting medium. All of us learn from those who have preceded us, and there are so many great painters from which to glean vital knowledge. In particular, there is intense interest in the work of John Singer Sargent, and to fully understand his craft, one must examine the teachings of his mentor, Emile Auguste Carolus-Duran.

During his life, Carolus-Duran had established himself as a master of genre and portrait painting, whose naturalistic painting techniques derived from his studies of past Masters, most notably, Velazquez.

Carolus-Duran insisted on the use of a limited palette of colors: black, verte emeraude, raw umber, cobalt, laque ordinaire, brun rouge, yellow ochre and white, laid out from left to right. To facilitate the choice of tones, he mixed two or three gradations of brun rouge with white, two of cobalt with white, two of black and white and two of raw umber, also with white. In particular, Carolus-Duran knew the Old Master’s technique of mixing beautiful, rich greens from black and yellow ochre. >>Read the full article on Carolus-Duran here.<<


5 Trees and How to Paint Them

Color mixing your greens, brush position and gesture, and understanding the anatomy of twig, trunk, leaf, and limb all come into play when you paint trees.

Color mixing for greens: Poplars on the Epte by Claude Monet.

Poplars on the Epte by Claude Monet.


Most poplar trees—including the aspen—have rounded contours while others have a conical or—like the willow—a triangular outline.

-The branches of these trees tend to shoot off from the trunk at very acute angels, with leaves hanging separately from long, rather flexible boughs that are produced at wide intervals (instead of being bunched in groups.)

-At the end of April or the beginning of May the poplar produces little triangular leaflets on their characteristically long leaf-stalks in a beautiful variety of yellow and brown, while in the fall these leaves turn a bright clear yellow or green.

Color mixing -- Lone Cypress, the most famous cypress tree in Monterey, is painted here in vivid color and strong brush strokes, by California impressionist Erin Hanson

California artist Erin Hanson creates an impressionist homage of Lone Cypress, the most famous cypress tree in Monterey.


-Seen most often in the United States on the jagged coastlines of Northern California, this evergreen conifer is known for its unique silhouette and for its branches that divide repeatedly to form flat, frondlike sprays of leaves.

-The Cypress has a short stem, and it seldom reaches beyond 50 or 60 feet in height. This tree in particular is known for its wood that is extremely durable, fine in grain, reddish brown in color, and pleasantly fragrant.

-The Cypress tree has a long life span, and the oldest known living Cypress is the historical and gigantic tree at Soma, in Lombardy, Italy, that is said to have been planted in the year Christ was born.



-Sycamore trees are known for their incredibly dense foliage—that tends to be rather dull in color—and their smooth-barked cylindrical stem.

-These trees grow rapidly, with some Sycamores reaching their full growth of 50 to 60 feet in as little as 10 years. The braches of a Sycamore are stiff, and even in seasons of strong weather, the tree retains its symmetrical outline.

-The branches tend to lessen toward the top of the tree, which results in a rounded-crown look to the overall mass. A Sycamore’s typical lifespan is between 140 to 200 years.



-Elms are very large trees that often exceed 120 feet in height and about 40 or 50 feet in width. The limbs of the tree typically branch into one or two huge horizontal limbs to a distance of 30 or 40 feet from the trunk, and generally fork above into ascending branches.

-When bare of leaves in the winter, the tiny twigs on the topmost boughs appear almost as delicate lace-work silhouetted against the sky.

-The Elm exposes large surfaces, which result in the appearance of evenly displayed light, and the overlapping of foliage masses in the recesses of the tree’s structure creates its dense appearance.

One of our favorite paintings of an oak tree by Karen Mathison Schmidt.

One of our favorite paintings of an oak tree by Karen Mathison Schmidt.


-The oak tree is a type of deciduous, broad-leaf tree that sheds its leaves during the fall and winter seasons and is found in numerous geographic locations throughout the world.

-Oak trees can live 200 years, and they produce acorns once a year during the fall. Physically, the oak tree’s branches shoot off at nearly a right angle, with many branches changing direction as they grow to avoid overcrowding.

-The oak’s branches are extremely sturdy, can hold themselves well horizontally, and are more numerous than most other types of trees.



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