Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Colored Pencil Landscapes: DVD excerpt from Kristy Kutch for Landscape Artists -- Welcome to Artist Palette Productions at Cheap Joe's Art Stuff

{This video is an excerpt of Kristy Kutch's video from "Colored Pencil Landscapes: Beyond the Basics" available for purchase at Cheap Joe's Art Stuff.}


Let's look at our color wheel. During our last segment we discussed our warm and cool colors. The next step is to take a look at complimentary colors. These are the colors that are complete opposites of each other on the wheel.

We use these compliments a lot to create three-dimensional paintings.

One of the prime techniques or principles of landscape art is to start in the distance and work toward the foreground. If you think about it, there are things which visually overlap.

If I have trees in the foreground that overlap my view of a meadow in the background, I don't want to do the trees first and then try to realistically render the meadow in between the boughs of the tree.

Think of how something comes from the distance to the foreground. I started with the sky - my most distant feature, the distant mountains, and then on up to the closer features.

Sometimes people agonize about working on evergreens. Evergreens in the distance are remarkably simple. If you choose a good shade of green - it can be Pine Green or a Juniper Green and you can just make your strokes so that they imitate the evergreen.

They don't have to be perfect. Notice my strokes here. See how it's not going to be perfect - I have a gap here, a fly away branch here, and some kind of scraggly top to it because that makes it more believable. You don't want picture perfect because it won't be as appealing.

There's a term in drawing and it's called scumbling. This art term is related to scribbling but it's an educated scribbling.

Now getting back to the color wheel, the compliment of green is red. I'm not going to use a poppy red for this, but I do have a darker burgundy red. Notice I've done some of the shadows already in this red - just sort of scumbled them in.

It looks kind of strange at this point, but watch when I add the green over it and scumble in some greens. The red gives depth to those evergreens and they start to look more three dimensional. This under-painting of a complimentary color can add a lot to this 3-d effect, even in the distance.

It doesn't have to be precise, but it sure helps if it's believable, especially if you're aspiring to do something that's recognizable and realistic.

I can always tweak and readjust my colors as I go on.

With the bare rocky side of the mountain I've already laid in a grayish green. I'd like you to think in terms of something other than just a flat gray. So often when we think of rocks and those types of features, we think in terms of a flat cool gray.

Something like this shouldn't be rendered in just gray. Here I have a shade of light powder blue. Where it's more heavily shadowed I'm going to use this Iron Blue. I may not leave this as it is - I will layer over it with another grayish green, but see how lively that is? It adds so much more personality than if I had rendered that in just a flat gray.


For more information and an additional excerpt video, please visit