Thursday, August 07, 2008

Solvang Hillside

"Morning Hills"

9" X 12"

Oil on Canvas Covered Panel

I live in an area surrounded by rolling hills. In Winter it looks like we live in Ireland and in Summer it has that classic golden rolling hills look of California. I'd say it is my area only but these hills are found all the way up into Northern California. I decided to try and capture early morning light diffused with the haze we get a lot from cold ocean air drifting into the valley from the Pacific Ocean.
Our distant valley mountains to the north are the same dried grassy golden color but due to Aerial Perspective turn a great shade of pale light blue...this makes for a great contrast against the foreground oaks and eucalyptus trees with their dark greens and browns. The colors used here are my normal palette of Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Yellow Pale, Alizarin Crimson, Yellow Ochre and Titanium White. A limited palette that keeps color uniformity in check and has enough colors to produce most of the landscapes I paint. The key to doing a painting like this is simple, keep your background and mid-ground colors less intense than your foreground colors. To achive this I use a mix of light grey that I add to the background and mid-ground colors. You can either use Paynes Grey mixed with white to get a light grey or you can mix it with spare paint off of your palette....some white, UBlue, ACrimson etc.... I use whatever is handy or available at the moment.

A detail of the painting....

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