The Problem With Green, Part 1

A few years ago while I was on a painting trip with legendary pastel plein air artist Glenna Hartmann, the question of how to handle green was posed. After a perfectly timed pause, she quietly responded, “I avoid it at all cost.” The ensuing discussion was very interesting. It seemed that every painter there had an issue with green.

As the discussion unfolded, it boiled down to a few issues. One of the most mentioned was the pigment used to make green pastels. What we see in nature is light reflected off of a surface. It shares a relationship with its surroundings as well as the bias of the light source. In our paintings, we’re creating an illusion of what’s real. Since we’re incapable of placing real light on a surface, we have to use man-made colors that reflect light back to the observer, representing what we see.  link

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