Monday, January 26, 2009

Tree School - Why Green?

10.5" x 7.5"
Soft Pastel
Casey Klahn

Color is the starting point that I choose for my tree renderings. If you are ever to arrive at a coherent color scheme, you must resist making those trees green! Typically the local color of trees, green will key the color composition for you. If you wish green as a major element in your image, then use it. If not, then do a color study of your composition first to determine what color you will be making your trees.

The local color of trees is usually green, but if you think about it, there are other local colors of trees. Brown, orange, silver, gray and black are present. Trace or hints of red and blue are very evident to me in trees. Cast colors include violet and blue. When we view our trees in this manner, any color becomes part of the natural palette associated with trees.

Remember that color has much more value than associations with objects. Some assign emotional value to color, but I also think of it's plastic qualities. The red trees in this winter scene counter-pose the cool trend of a winter scene, and push them forward and cause vibration when compared to the ultramarine background.

Don't become a victim of the tyranny of green.


Unknown said...

Great post. I think I am a slave of "greens". Oft times I try to move away from it all and paint with another colour other than green............strangely I have always found the works I did that way more magical. I guess it takes guts to try to do something different from the prescribed norm.

Casey Klahn said...

Thanks for reading at Pastel, Nkolika.

I am challenged by the fact that I live in "The Evergreen State" of Washington. Green, green, green - everywhere you look.

Jala Pfaff said...

I'm enjoying your Tree School, Casey!

harry bell said...

As you may remember, green is one of my problem colours because of my eyesight deficiency, so I generally avoid country scenes. I do tell myself that I can simply dispense with green altogether, but it doesn't often stick. Thanks for reinforcing the idea.

Casey Klahn said...

Thanks, Jala. More to come. The whole family were laid out sick at one time late this week. No fun. I just barely made my deadline for a jury.

Really, I like green, Harry. But, not as a local color. Thanks for reading, here.

jean neely said...

The tyranny of green! YES, exactly!
I live in a very wooded area as well- Missouri. It's really hard to know what to do with all that green out there. I search other artists work for solutions to that problem.

I love your winter trees. And thanks for the tree school, it's very helpful.

Casey Klahn said...

You're welcome on the tree school, Jean.

Those old enough remember the "avocado" colors of the sixties - they made it into my Winter work.