Mixing Greens Part 4


Armand Cabrera

I’ve covered mixing greens for landscape paintings in earlier posts but I still have some advice that can help you capture the greens of spring and summer and make successful paintings.

When you have a painting that has one color that dominates the image design becomes essential. When you restrict your color choices you must find other ways to add interest. Design becomes more important to the success of your painting.

One way to add design is using a series of rhythmic shapes and weave them through the painting. Rhythmic not repetitive, repetitive shapes call too much attention to pattern while rhythmic shapes have similar qualities of shape but are not exact copies. Their attributes change over the sequence to create movement and flow. You do this by changing the size, direction of the marks and their shape slightly from one stroke to the next.

Another way is to use paint calligraphy varying the qualities and thickness of the paint from thin passages that just stain the canvas with color to areas of thick impasto that pull the eye toward them.

Varying the level of detail is another effective tool for an artist. The center of interest can be controlled and information rich while less important areas can be simplified to represent just their essential characteristics.

The last thing to do is allow the painting to have some counterpoint to the overall color of the image, In a green landscape painting this could be the shadow colors, the sky or some other feature that is designed to break up the greens while retaining the superficial sense that what you are viewing is a green landscape.

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