Leaf Green, oil on canvas, 38×40

I love the bright clear color of new leaves in the spring, especially the intense greens under or behind a leaf. These backlit greens have an intensity that is hard to match with a brush full of oil paint. I love these challenges and Leaf Green was certainly a challenge for my paint mixing skills.

For this painting, I quite literally mixed hundreds of greens. I used cadmium chartreuse, cadmium lemon, cadmium green and permanent greens to mix the specific colors. Keeping the color clean without it turning muddy was a real challenge when trying to make good color matches. The other challenge was to keep the white in these mixtures to a minimum. I mix all my colors on the palette and blend adjacent colors on the canvas.

The resultant look of Leaf Green evokes the feeling of camouflage clothing. I have the deep greens and browns as well as the bright, backlit greens of the leaves. I elected to scale this image somewhat larger than life to achieve the feel of being within the foliage itself. The result makes for an elaborate pattern and interplay between all the similar greens. This satisfied my desire to paint it in the first place.