Into the Green Zone

Back in my early blogging days, around 2009, I challenged myself to come to terms with the color GREEN. Green is ubiquitous in the world around us, yet many painters find it a difficult color, and I definitely was among them. After exploring different mixes of green in color swatches, I tried to apply what I’d learned in a few watercolors, and wrote about it in a post entitled Is it green enough? Here’s an example of one of my efforts, Fields of Green, which later went with a family moving away from central Illinois as a reminder of their time there.

I was reminded of my earlier explorations recently, when doing the painting featured above, Into the Woods 6. The fresh greens in this scene in our nearby wood were so intense that it seemed as if the light itself was suffused with green. Had I not done those exercises all those years ago, I might not have dared to attempt this subject.

For the brightest green I used a mix of cadmium yellow light with just a touch of phthalo blue, while the medium values were done with the addition of ultramarine blue, a darker value. All this green exuberance was grounded by warmer colors in the foreground, and the darks of tree trunks.

Woods 6 WIP 1
Woods 6 WIP 2
Woods 06

I think the real star in this watercolor is the water with its reflections, which I treated very simply. 

Do you love or hate green? Let me know in the comments below, and don’t hesitate to be brutally honest…

Also, check out the first six watercolors in my new series, Into the Woods
The Gardens series is complete for the time being, though I may add to it later in the year.

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