Landscape Part 2 – Blocking in Color

For this lesson, we will apply color to our value underpaintings.

In applying color, we want to think about Atmospheric Perspective as explained in John Carlson’s Guide to Landscape painting.

When painting your landscape, think about it as if you are looking through layers of gauzy curtains as you look out across the horizon. Because of this, objects become Lighter, Cooler, Duller, and Softer as they recede.

Things farther away will be more diluted because they are behind more layers of curtains.

As the colors move away:

  • Yellow – will lose its intensity.
  • Red – takes on a more lavender shade.
  • Blue – blue hue is less affected, but it will become lighter.

Caveat – white becomes warmer and darker as it recedes.

Applying this to our landscape, we will start with trees since they are the darkest value.

To begin, mix Black and Yellow Ochre for a desaturated green.
Mix Phthalo Blue and Cadmium Yellow for a vibrant green – dull this green with Alizarin crimson.

The distant trees will mostly be desaturated green with a small amount of vibrant green mixed in.

The closer trees will be more vibrant green. Yellow loses its intensity as it recedes, so these will be more yellow than the trees behind.

Moving onto the mountains and path, use purple as the base color.

The distant mountains will have a more desaturated and lighter purple. Add yellow, the opposite color on the color wheel, to desaturate the purple.

The path will be a similar color but lighter in value and warmer.

Finally, add the sky, Phtahol blue with white in it.

Here is the video from the demonstration in class. It includes the audio.

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