For a variety of reasons this has been a bad year for oils. All of the usual excuses apply, time, commitments and the rest. So I was sat musing the other day and thought I'd be just as well trying some sort of activity when I posed myself the question, 'How good are your greens?' Like lots of other artists I'm no great shakes when it comes to mixing greens, so having decided to try and improve my foliage I then asked myself, 'What to paint?'
I had also been thinking earlier in the day that it would be pleasant to return to Tuscany as it's a few years since I'd been there. One of the glories there is the range of greens, particularly in the spring. So I dug out a sketch book from my last trip there and lighted upon some sketches made around the area of Badia a Passignana. In passing, this demonstrated the importance of making sketches and holding on to them, they make the most wonderful source material.
My next task was to mix up a range of greens and as a base I took the advice I found on a YouTube video by Marc Dalessio. He talked of making greens with French Ultramarine, Cerulean Blue, Cadmium Yellow and Yellow Ochre. Each blue/yellow mix has its own distinctive hue and can be varied by proportions, addition of white or complementary red. Once the mixtures were made it was just a case of making the sketch and selecting which was appropriate and where.
This was not meant to be an attempt at a finished work but more as an exercise to mix colour and reacquaint myself with the feel of the hog brushes and the slippery oils. An enjoyable session.
Badia a Passignana - Oil on canvas board 12" x 10"