Monday, July 4, 2016

It's Not Easy Being Green

While visiting Bosque del Apache NWR earlier this year, I saw a frog sunning itself on some fallen reeds. I liked the abstract pattern of the reeds in the shallow water and the fairly limited color scheme of the scene. I often look for patterns like this in nature. They make for interesting painting compositions. I also wanted to bring attention to the frog, an animal that could easily be overlooked by most. The lyrics to the song "Bein' Green" inspired the title of the painting:

You see, it's not easy being green
It seems to blend in with so many other ordinary things
And then, sometimes, sometimes people pass over you
Because you're not standing out like sparkles on the water
Or like the stars in the sky...
I toned the canvas with Gamblin Transparent Earth Orange. The sketch was laid in directly with paint; I used burnt sienna and some ultramarine blue thinned w/Gamsol mineral spirits. 
Next, I started to block-in colors and shapes, refining and editing the drawing as I went.  The entire background was kept loose and thinly painted. This added to the effect that the reeds were slightly submerged in water. All the detail was kept to the subject, the frog.
Finished!
It's Not Easy Being Green, 16x10 oil on linen panel.
Detail - It's Not Easy Being Green