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Monday, 24 April 2017

Painting A Graded background In Oils

There is more than one way of creating a graded background when using oil colours, but the method I share with you in today's blog, must certainly be one of the easiest. In a graded background, you want to achieve a gradual change of colour with no visible line where darker and lighter tones meet each other. I do this in both the foreground as well as the sky in this small painting.

The painting is done on a very small canvas panel by Dala, measuring a mere 5" x 7".

When I flip the panel over, I find a canvas that has already been primed to accept paint.

I start by covering the whole canvas with a thin layer of linseed oil. This will make the paint much more runny, or spreadable, when I paint over it, making it easier to achieve a graded blend.

I start by using three colours. Ultramarine Blue is used for the sky and is painted at the top of the canvas. The foreground is painted Burnt Sienna.

I then paint Titanium White towards the horizon where the colours meet.

I use Phthalo Blue right at the top of the canvas for the darkest area of the sky.

When I paint the trees, I hold a round long-stemmed brush right at the end of the stem so that I can not control the brush too much. This ensures that the tree trunks and branches do not appear rigid, but has nicely curved shapes.

The same brush can also be used to add rocks to the scene.

Do not forget to anchor the trees by giving them shadows on the ground.

I use a Filbert brush to paint leaves on the trees. Notice that one tree seems to be in the foreground and one further back. This is achieved by painting the closest tree slightly larger than the one in the back. I also make sure to paint the leaves on the further tree slightly lighter than the one in the foreground, which will assist in creating the illusion of distance. The colour I used was Prussian Green.

I added more leaves to both trees in a darker shade (Viridian Green) to imitate shadows, and a lighter shade (Yellow Green) to imitate the reflection of light on the leaves. I used the Filbert brush to add some shrubs as well. This is a very easy painting to do if you know a few basic techniques. Why not try it yourself?

Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy the books here:
You can purchase Designs By Miekie 1 here.
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