French Lick Creek, making friends with green, demonstration

French Lick Creek, final, oil on canvas, 24x30, Kit Miracle

French Lick Creek, final, oil on canvas, 24×30, Kit Miracle

Green is often one of the most difficult colors for artists to master.  But if you’re going to be a landscape painter, it is imperative to learn to paint believable greens.  This demonstration is a landscape of the area with a variety of green.

French Lick Creek, base coat of orangey/red

French Lick Creek, base coat of orangey/red

French Lick Creek, basic brush drawing with beginning color

French Lick Creek, basic brush drawing with beginning color

French Lick Creek, starting to add more color in the middle ground

French Lick Creek, starting to add more color in the middle ground

As I have mentioned before, I often paint on a toned canvas.  In this case, I chose to tone my canvas with an orangey/red. This is the complementary of green and will counteract some of the acid of the color.  It will also add some sparkle when it shows through here and there. After laying in the base color, I wiped away some of the highlight areas.

Then I began sketching the basic outline on the canvas.  Starting with the middle ground, I laid in the blues of the distant hills and worked my way forward.

French Lick Creek, with sky added

French Lick Creek, with sky added

French Lick Creek, filling in background

French Lick Creek, filling in background

I find that I can really see where I’m heading once I paint in the sky.  Then it’s just a matter of keep adding details.  Overall, I painted about 95% of the painting in two days but it took about a week for the final details.  This is where I can really mess it up by putting in too many details or not quite enough.  I spent a lot of time just looking at the painting, using a mirror helps, too.  Overall, it has exactly the feel I was after.

Most of the color is laid in now

Most of the color is laid in now

Pushing and pulling, highlights and darks

Pushing and pulling, highlights and darks

French Lick Creek, almost done

French Lick Creek, almost done

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