Mixing Rich Earth Tones

September 22, 2019

This is a demo painting from my Summer Workshop in Steamboat Springs Colorado.  We were on a marvelous ranch along the Elk River and I was intrigued by the sunlight on this old shed with the red trailer.  Did you know that brown is actually mixed from the three primary colors red, yellow, and blue?  Putting these three colors together in watercolor can often get muddy so I like to have burnt sienna, raw umber, and burnt umber on my palette.  I used different mixtures  of burnt sienna and ultramarine blue for the shed and mixed cerulean blue and cadmium red for the grays in the metal roofs and the fence posts.  I also added a little burnt sienna to the gray roof to indicate rust.  With color temperature I used cool greens for the distant mountains and warm greens for the foreground grasses.  Finally the door on the shed was painted with the earth tone yellow ochre and the cast shadow on the door is burnt sienna.  The utility pole with the wires adds a nice touch and, if you cover it with your finger, you can see how the the composition changes.  Autumn is here so get out your earth tones and head outside to paint.  Happy Painting!

Dennis Pendleton



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