Painting With Green Oil Colors

oil painting of trees in front of the house

Posted On June 24, 2019

Very often green is the most used color in the landscapes. It can vary tremendously from almost blue to yellow. Before you start mixing the colors I advise you to go and observe the landscape you plan to paint in order to compare the green colors on it.

For example, on a sunny day, the areas that are shined upon by sunlight are in warm greenish yellow while the areas that are in the shade appear to be colder and the green colors are bluish. If you look at the horizon you will notice that green colors of the trees, fields and hills are getting colder the farther they are.

In order to paint a realistic landscape, it is important to learn how to mix more lively greens. There are two ways of doing that first is using the green directly out of the tube mixed with other colors and the second is mixing your own green paint out of yellow and blue.

There are many different greens you can buy already mixed in the tube. Most of those greens are too strong and nothing like the greens you can see in nature. Those greens are on the other hand excellent when they have other colors added to them.

For example the Viridian Green is very strong and cold and appears to be very unnatural but when you ad some red, yellow or orange in it you can create a full palette of green colors.

When you mix blue and yellow you get the bigger palette of delicate green colors that vary from dark to light, bright to muffled and cold to warm.

sketch of trees in front of the house made with green oil color

Summer greens

On this painting, you can see the whole palette of green colors from cold bluish shadows to flickering yellowish tones.

In order to paint this you will need the following:

  • Primmed canvas
  • Flat hog bristle brushes numbers 2, 5 and 10
  • Filbert hog bristle brush number 4
  • Odourless mineral spirits
  • Refined linseed oil
  • Charcoal

And the following colors:

Lemon Yellow, Spectrum Yellow, Ochre Yellow, Venetian Red, Cobalt Purple, Chrome Oxide Green, Permanent Green, French Ultramarine, Sky Blue and Titanium White.

sketch of trees made with green oil color

Sketching

Sketch the composition roughly using charcoal. Mix a bit of Chrome Oxide Green with mineral spirits to make it liquid enough and using hog filbert brush number 4 go over the main areas on the painting using the sketch as your guide.

Mix cold green using Permanent Green, French Ultramarine and Chrome Oxide Green adding a bit of linseed oil and mineral spirits to make the paint buttery.

Using flat brush number 10 add the paint on the canvas with wide moves covering the darkest areas on the trees and shadows on the grass.

While painting try to move the brush in all directions to depict the direction of the growth of the branches.

brush sketching the trees in front of a house

Building The Composition

Add some Ochre Yellow, Lemon Yellow and Spectrum Yellow mixing them with the greens and blues in different ratios in order to get many warm and cold lighter greens for the leaves and the grass with the sunlight shining on it.

Partially mix the paint on the canvas and change the ratio of the colors in the mixture. For the warmer tones add yellow and for the colder ones and blue.

Add a little bit of Titanium White to bring the light into the painting but not too much because that can make the colors blurry and deprive them of the shine.

Mix pale blue using Sky Blue and Titanium White and paint the sky. Paint the clouds with white and a bit of Sky Blue. For that use flat brush number 5 for wide areas and flat brush number 2 for the smaller parts.

brush adding finishing details to a painting of trees in front of a house

Adding The Details

Use filbert brush number 4 to add pink and brown on the buildings in the background painting with wide moves.

Take the basic mixture of Venetian Red and Titanium White, adding to it some Ochre Yellow and Spectrum green for dark colored rooftops and a bit of Cobalt Purple and Sky Blue for the roof in the middle.

Treetops are casting shadows containing purple color on the upper parts of tree stumps. Paint that using the mixture of Cobalt Purple, Ultramarine and a bit of Venetian Red with the variations in the ratio of colors so you would gain darker and lighter tones.

Once the major part of the painting is covered with basic colors you can start developing the contrast in tone and texture.

painting of green summer trees in front of a house painted with oils

Finishing Touches

Keep working on the green areas of the painting using the green colors from your palette. Add a little bit of purple and blue in order to depict the darkest tones of the trees.

Add some Spectrum Yellow to paint the leaves on the edges of the trees and create the contrast to the dark shades on the painting.

Start completing the buildings by adding them contours and shadows. In order to do that you will use the mixture of Cobalt Purple and ultramarine.

Finished painting will depict the light coming through the treetops.

Written by Magdalena

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