When Colors Go Wrong

I’ve missed painting recently while I’ve been working on figure drawing so I was glad to get back to my easel and eager to try painting more trees. For this painting, I played around with a few different colors, and in the end, they really didn’t play well together.

I do like the Prussian blue I used in the sky, and I think I also like the color I mixed for the dark mountain areas. After that, though, my colors all seemed to go wrong.



I’m calling it Indian Summer for two reasons. It’s a time of year I love, when summer’s warmth returns for a short time in late September or early October. To capture that warm feeling, I used Indian Red, although it got a little overpowering.

Note: The streaks in the sky aren’t really there. Those streaks are reflections from the glass in the china cabinet near where I paint.

I’m still in the process of creating my own personal color palette, learning what colors I most love to use and which ones don’t really seem to work for me.

Although I made a lot of my usual mistakes in this painting, overall I think I’m fairly pleased with it — except for the color choices. Part of my problem is that I grab tubes of paint on a whim rather than taking time to plan my colors before I begin. Still being new to painting, I find it fun to try different color combinations for no other reason than just to see what happens. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t.

All in all, I’d like to believe I’m making progress. It is a process, and I have so much more to learn. And even when things don’t work quite the way I’d hoped, I’m still having fun and enjoying my painting time.



  1. I really love those mountains, Judith! I know what you mean about color mixing – I have thrashed about for years with that one! Finally, about this time last year, I decided to look for some online tutoring about color theory and I stumbled on a guy named Will Kemp (Will Kemp Art School) His work is awesome and he has tons of experience with Oil and Acrylics and the beauty of him in particular is he has a whole ton of free You Tube videos on various subjects (so you can try him out for free!) and he always responds to email and comments on his threads. Check him out, if you have the time and are interested…I especially enjoyed what he had to say about how to mix awesome greens!

    Liked by 1 person

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