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Written by Barbara Simmons

I chose these three vases of various kinds of greens to be a starting point for a still life painting. Among the decisions to be made were, light or dark ground, flowers in one vase or two vases or all three vases. I wanted the painting to be dominantly green. A black and white value study helped to answer some of my questions.

On my palette, I have four tube greens: 1) viridian green (W&N), 2) Winsor green (blue), 3) Hooker’s green, 4) Sap green.
I have mixed viridian green with the remaining 11 colors on my palette. Notice the colors in the middle of the line (complementary mixes).
I have mixed hooker’s green with the remaining 11 colors on my palette. Again, notice the colors in the middle of the line (Complementary mixes)

After deciding the composition, I masked out the flower shapes (orchids).
  I loosely applied the two greens, yellows, and some complementary red. My first washes help me to decide if the color selection is right for what I am trying to achieve.
  Blue is the underwash for a warm and dark green application. Red is mixed with warm green for an accent. LITTLE BUTTERFLIES was painted in several layers until the right value was achieved. The orchids and the motif on the vases would be a matter of detail. Challenge yourself to create a work in green dominance using an unusual subject matter.