Join Will Kemp for an in-depth discussion in this video An impressionistic touch, part of Painting Foundations: Creating Palettes for the Landscape.
- [Voiceover] So here are the colors that we've mixed and you can start to see this lovely harmony between all these greens together, and then you can also notice this lovely dappled effect that you often get in springtime when you've got the leaves coming out and then the sun just dappling through creating these great shadows onto trees and these lovely little spaces for your eye to work in-between elements of the painting. So you've got parts here that are dark, then light, then dark.
You've got lights and darks within the leaves, lights and darks within the bark of the tree and the shadows. So instead of on the winter scene where we had lots of kind of scrubby marks with our brush and really smoothed things together, when you're painting more of a spring scene you can afford to be more impressionistic and start to get these colors working over the top of each other. So if we just start with some green here. This is the shadow green. And I'll just do a quick, little painting just to show you how the colors can start to work together.
(soft piano music) So you see with the tip of this brush I can get a sharper edge with it. It's not super sharp, but it's a lot finer than with the other filbert and that's because its got a stiffer hog hair-type bristle to it, so it's stiffer and it gives more of these little marks when I just dab it on.
I can be quite fine with it or I can push it down and get more of a thicker mark. But the marks are gonna stay together. There is more of a pointy mark to them. So when you look here, this was the last filbert and it had more of a round edge to it. And this one, just clean the brush off, you can see how its got more of a pointed edge to it. So it's only subtle, but it can make a big difference in the way the paint is applied to the canvas.
(soft piano music) So you can start to see how I'm looking for all these dappled effects in the greens that I'm mixing together, and just putting them on quite liberally, really, but still looking for the gaps in-between, so I've got this nice balance and build up of the colors all together.
So you've got this lovely impressionistic feel that from a close up it can feel quite abstract, but when you stand further back from the painting, it can really bring that effect of dappled light hitting over the surface.
And here what I'm doing is I'm loading up the brush so I've got lots onto the bristle and then just dabbing it on very, very lightly and then pulling it off. So I'm not pushing very strongly onto the surface of the canvas. I'm just putting it on and then just pulling off so I get a real lovely impasto feeling. Gives this great texture. Gives all these spaces for your eye to move around. And when you've got those colors balanced together, it can be really a effective technique.
So again, load up your brush, gently on, and just pull it through. (soft piano music)
Will explains how to simplify and separate tonal values into areas of light and shadow, how to use warm and cool colors effectively, and how to mix a naturalistic green palette — a major color stumbling block in landscape painting. A vibrant spring green, for example, can be easy to mix, but hard to balance. The same is true for warm autumnal colors and the vivid blues of summer skies. Will shows how to build these palettes and use gestural impressionistic brushstrokes to paint different landscape scenes. By introducing washes and glazes, he demonstrates how to simulate the atmospheric light of each season. So break out your brushes and paints. Start watching to learn how to mix color for the landscape and approach painting the seasons with confidence.
- Setting up supports and grounds
- Choosing brushes, paints, and additional materials
- Mixing harmonious color palettes
- Creating a winter palette with neutrals
- Blending colors of atmospheric light
- Painting smoky edges and dark areas of a landscape
- Mixing and balancing green
- Underpainting a spring landscape
- Creating autumnal golden light
- Extending color palettes
- Adding watery washes and glazes
- Creating a vibrant summer palette
- Simplifying shapes in a landscape painting