More about handling summer greens in watercolor

Showing Off for Summer email

Showing Off for Summer”   11×15 Watercolor

In this watercolor, one of my plein air paintings I entered in Plein Air Rockies, I tried to vary the many greens in nature by 1. subtly adding other colors in with the greens and 2. varying the green mixtures as I was discussing in my last post by mixing some cooler blue-greens as well as warmer yellow-greens. (Click to enlarge the painting so you can better see the violets in the background as well as the variety in the warm and cool greens).

Caution: when adding other colors in with the greens (in this case, some violets and burnt sienna), consider what is going to mix with what. If you are adding violets, do NOT let them mix "with" the greens - you will get mud. Instead, place the violets BESIDE your green and let it touch, not mix. In the case of Burnt Sienna, it's okay to let it mix with the greens because it's not opposite on the color wheel (it's considered an orange and is close to the green part of the color wheel) and will not turn most greens gray or "mud."
Caution: when adding other colors in with the greens (in this case, some violets and burnt sienna), consider what is going to mix with what. If you are adding violets, do NOT let them mix “with” the greens – you will get mud. Instead, place the violets BESIDE your green and let it touch, not mix. In the case of Burnt Sienna, it’s okay to let it mix with the greens because it’s not opposite on the color wheel (it’s considered an orange and is close to the green part of the color wheel) and will not turn most greens gray or “mud.”

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. Remember, practice, practice, practice and experiment. I keep scraps of watercolor paper close by to experiment with placing one color over another and also next to it and letting it “merge.”

Don’t forget the Southwestern Watercolor Society’s 53rd Annual Juried Membership Exhibition if you’re in or near the Dallas area. It’s August 31 – September 24 at the Eisemann Center in Richardson, Texas, and is always a good show to see. The juror is Stan Miller, AWS.

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