“Heron Pond” – 11″ x 15″
Heron Pond is one of the many lakes and ponds in the Paul Smith’s College Visitors Interpretation Center (VIC). This scene was painted during the 2018 Adirondacks Plein Air Festival.
The light on this wet, showery morning seemed to intensify the late summer greens. The greens of a rich summer landscape are a challenge in many ways. The greatest of those challenges is in finding a way to maintain visual interest in a picture that is full of very similar greens – particularly on an overcast day with no direct sunlight to provide temperature, value and intensity contrasts.
Even though most of my paintings are landscape paintings, there are no tube greens on my palette. Instead, I rely on a combination of blues and yellows to mix green colors for my landscapes. My palette does hold five different blues and five different yellows. It is these that are the basis for the greens that end up on the paper.
Along with that, I find areas that should, perhaps, be green but add deep violets and even some reds to add subtle visual contrasts and visual variety. The dark tree line in the middle distance of this painting has some dark greens, but also violets and red-violets to help cool off the colors and create a sense of distance.
The foreground area has at least five different mixed greens along with some areas of violet and red-violet as well. The addition of a great deal more texture creates a sense of detail which adds visual interest and helps create implied distance between this area and the background areas.