Thursday, August 19, 2010

65 Getting greens right

IN recent entries I have mentioned using a new palette of colors to achieve more vibrant greens. In this video I expand on that idea and overpaint an old painting where the greens are quite gray.

I don't want anyone to think I am advocating an exact formula for every lighting condition. Obviously this basic recipe will be greatly modified depending on the light. But it is a great step forward for those of us who either tend to gray greens too much or use greens with too high saturation. Additionally if you are tired of relying on tube colors the information here should prove of some value.

Brad Teare © 2010


  1. Hey Brad, thanks for sharing your insights. I agree that greens are tricky and I struggle to get them to a saturation that looks attractive without having them overblown. Sometimes I falter in the other direction and they turn out too gray. Keep posting the videos- I really enjoy seeing them.

  2. This is exactly what I needed for inspiration. I'm getting rready to head out to do some ala prima landscape painting. It's so awesome to watch someone paint a tree and see the steps with painting sky holes, tree branches etc. I'm wonderin gif you have a photo at this point that you ar eloosely working from to ge tthe placement of the branches or are you going more by feel?

  3. Initially I made all my greens super saturated. almost like color out of a tube. Then I made my greens too gray. Hopefully I am getting truer color now. Experiencing both extremes is part of the process. Thanks for the feedback Greg!

    Matthew, I was just winging it in this video and had no reference for branches since I was just trying to get a color of green that blended into the light conditions I previously painted. But nothing wrong with working from a photograph. When you are in the field look around and see which trees have the best branch patterns, even if they are behind you, and borrow those for the trees in your painting. Best wishes while painting en plein air. I hope the palette described works well for you. Let me know how it goes.

  4. Hi Brad, unrelated to this post, regarding your Vine discussion forum post. I don't post there bc as soon as I do I get neg votes on multiple reviews (sometimes 10 or 12) on various topics, all at once, so it is not random customers, it's Viners.

    When I post early reviews I also am slammed with neg votes. I have also been plagarized by other Vine reviewers, they rearrange some of what I said into their own review.

    Thus for a long time I have not posted reviews of brand new books early. I made 2 exceptions recently but haven't bothered to see if I've gotten slammed w negs or plagarized.

    Have a great day.

  5. This is a really great tip -- thanks for breaking it down like this. I mix a variety of greens but they never look completely accurate because I'm increasing their saturation (chroma) in BOTH the warm and cool directions when I modify the color with either Ult Blue or Cad yellow. That full saturation, in both light and shadow, can't really happen with a single, natural light source (say warm sunlight). I'm also guilty of making the greens too light -- it probably comes from trying to achieve some value contrast amidst all that chroma...

  6. Great demo. I too struggle with greens. After watching this demo I think I tend to over mix my colors


Thanks for your comments!


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