Using Grays to Lighten Colors
Painting of the Week – Pastoral by Fargo Artist Ellen Jean Diederich
Driving home from the lake on Memorial Day, I saw this very scene once again. Spring is so beautiful! The buds are coming out and the greens of the trees are so vivid and bright. These Dairy cows were cooped up all winter eating dried hay and this lush pasture must be heaven to them. This Original Acrylic painting “Pastoral” took 1st place at the New York Mills 2010 Regional Art Show.
In 2009, I began using Acrylic paint and became aware of how different Acrylic colors mix versus Watercolors. I mix dark colors to make blacks in my watercolors, but add black to my Acrylic paints. To lighten (tint) watercolors, you add water and with acrylics you add white paint. Adding white paint for darker colors not only lightens them, it can easily change them into an almost electric, gaudy or unrealistic tone. For these spring trees, white was the perfect color to add to get bright light green. If you just want to change the value of a color, mix in grays instead of white and you will have a similar but lighter color. See how a gray paint was used almost in its pure form to highlight the dark cow on the far right of the painting. We will have fun using grays to lighten colors and experimenting with warm and cool and neutral grays in my upcoming “Painting Landscapes in Acrylic” workshop.
Online Classes Available Soon!
Don’t worry about Covid-19 ruining your classes. We are taping my upcoming workshops and will be offering them online. Our online sign-up now lets you register for either a deposit on a class, an online workshop or both for $75.00. Just let us know if you want to be there. Some classes will be streamed live online and others will be uploaded after the workshop! Supply information and handouts are emailed.