Everything has gone green

I’ve previously favoured a muted palette so at this time of year with all this lush, verdant growth wherever you look I feel a bit intimidated.

My theory is that evolutionarily we are programmed to discern differences in the many shades of green to help guide our ancestors to sources of food and water. Also green in Spring is especially acid. How many works of art can you think of that accommodate the true strength of these greens? It’s very easy to foul up a painting that includes green.

Many artists today (myself included) and throughout history have worked around this by downplaying the true strength of green to ensure a harmonious picture. Even Constable browned down his greens.

Gone Fishing, Usk Reservoir

Gone fishing. Avoiding green at Usk reservoir in the Brecon Beacons.

I decided to try to focus on this weakness, tackle it head on and paint more green, more strongly.

I sought some advice from artists about how they made such strong and believable greens. Mix your own greens from warm and cool blues and yellows, avoid viridian, practice with sap and hookers green and use premixed light green moderated with earth colours came the conflicting advice.

Here are more of my recent plain air paintings, my main finding is that the right green can be arrived at by many different routes but the important thing is to maintain the true variety of greens across the painting by careful observation. Sadly its easier said than done, I’ve not found a silver bullet and more practice needed.

There’s no better way to practice your greens than to paint outside at this time of year.


A bit more green, Liberty leading the trees, also at Usk reservoir.
I also had a green disaster at Carreg Cennen castle. Total rework needed, no image to protect your eyeballs!

 

Friesans, Catcott


An improvement, Friesans on the Somerset levels. Also some camera glare, may crop this one.

Some views around the Hope Valley in the Peak District including Castleton castle. There’s plenty of variation in green between these paintings but plenty more to do.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this. You an also follow me on twitter and now Instagram @ianpriceart

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3 thoughts on “Everything has gone green

  1. Hi Ian,

    Just a quick note to say how intrigued I was by your new work – the vibrant colours seem just right for all that vitality and exuberance one gets in early spring growth. Hope you are pleased with them?

    Best,

    Alkarim

    PS I noticed from your blog that you had a couple of studio open days last year – if you are planning any this year, could you go give me as much advance notice as possible and we’ll check if we can stay with our friends in Clevedon and come and have a look.

    • North Somerset Arts week will be the Mayday Bank Holiday weekend and the following weekend. I hope to be taking part in 2017.

      The green post has generated a lot of comment, I’ll do a little follow up post.

  2. Beautiful painting (“Friesans” in particular), and a very interesting post. I have found green a huge challenge and have kept almost none of my efforts with a predominant green or blue scheme. You pulled it off fantastically here.

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