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Most artists are inspired by the gorgeous display of colors of fall, however it might also pose a challenge to capture the subtleties of autumn.
In this season, everything suddenly shifts from dominantly green to earth tones of ochre, orange, brown, red and purple.
You will not need to purchase tubes of colors in order to portray fall landscapes, I will tell you how you can easily mix your own.
Fall color mixing tips
Ochre = use dominantly yellow with the addition of a very small amount of red and blue If you would like a warmer ochre add a little bit more red or use cadmium medium or deep for yellow, and if you need a cooler ochre add a ted more blue to the mixture.
Brown = cadmium red light plus ultramarine blue or cobalt for a lighter but saturated brown You can also push this mixture toward a rusty sienna color by adding some cadmium orange or yellow.
Chocolate brown = cadmium red with the addition of a small amount of ivory black Tan and sand color = dominantly white with the addition of either of the browns above
Purple = white plus alizarine crimson and ultramarine blue The lighter purple you need the more white there is in the mixture. If you would like to tone down the intensity of your mixture add a tiny amount of yellow or orange. If you add too much you could end up with a chromatic gray.
How colors change throughout the autumn landscape
The progression of colors throughout the landscape changes significantly every season. This difference is especially visible in the fall.
The foreground greens tend to shift toward a cooler green hue (even in sunlight) and contain patches of tans and browns. Trees and shrubs display a wide array of colors from bright warm yellows, ochres, oranges, reds and browns. As the distance increases all these vivid and saturated colors start to shift toward less chromatic purples and violets. It is important to note that distant hills and mountains appear to be slightly violet instead of blue.
As always, the best way to experience and practice capturing these wonderful changes in the landscape is by painting outdoors. Even if temperatures are on the chilly side, it is a heart warming experience that will unquestionably lift your spirits.
Theodore Clement Steele (September 11, 1847 – July 24, 1926) was an American Impressionist painter known for his Indiana landscapes. Steele was an innovator and leader in American Midwest painting and is one of the most famous of Indiana's Hoosier Group painters. In addition to painting, Steele contributed writings, public lectures, and hours of community service on art juries that selected entries for national and international exhibitions, most notably the Universal Exposition (1900) in Paris, France, and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (1904) in Saint Louis, Missouri. He was also involved in organizing pioneering art associations, such as the Society of Western Artists.
Steele’s work has appeared in a number of prestigious exhibitions, including the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893) in Chicago, Illinois; the Five Hoosier Painters exhibition (1894) in Chicago; the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (1904) in Saint Louis; the International Exhibit of Fine Arts (1910) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Santiago, Chile; and at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915) in San Francisco, California.
Steele’s work is widely collected by museums and individuals. His paintings in public collections include those of the Haan Mansion Museum of Indiana Art, Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Indiana University Art Museum in Bloomington, Indiana, among others.
Steele’s contributions were recognized with honorary degrees from Wabash College in 1900 and Indiana University in 1916. In addition, Steele was elected to an associate membership in New York’s National Academy of Design in 1913.
Steele was born near Gosport in Owen County, Indiana, on September 11, 1847, the eldest child of Samuel Hamilton and Harriett Newell Evans Steele. Steele’s father was a saddle maker and farmer. In 1852 the family moved to Waveland in Montgomery County, Indiana, where Steele developed an interest in art and learned to draw. The T.C. Steele Boyhood Home at Waveland was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. (Wikipedia)