Painting Demonstration 1
I begin by painting the warm light at the end of the path. I want to keep this very light in contrast to everything else.
Keep the path fairly light as well. I'm mixing azo yellow with a tinge of viridian. I want a very pale path so the shadows show up with a lot of contrast.
Painting Demonstration 2
I'm painting the greenery, not the flowers.
Slight variations in greens are easy to do, adding cobalt blue, quinacridone red or nickel azo yellow to my basic viridian / azo yellow mix.
I reserve whites where I'm going to paint flowers. I don't want to start on the flowers until the greens are blocked in and I know where my lightest lights and deepest shadows will be. It's too easy to paint everything very dark since flowers are bright colors.
Painting Demonstration 3
I've added a few cool darks in with quinacridone rust and cobalt blue.
The darks are going to make the bright pink Joe Pye weed almost glow in the sunlight.
Place your strong darks strategically, near where you want your viewer's eyes.
The shadows across the grass path should draw your eyes into the painting, not block them.
Artist's TipsWhen painting gardens, paint the green stuff first, then the flowers.
Painting Demonstration 4
I can't resist adding just a few touches of color. I'm using permanent alizarin crimson and cobalt violet to start.
Painting Demonstration 5
The ancient apple tree frames the end of the path in glowing greens. I increase the contrast around the backlit leaves with a few dark blue trees in the distance.
Painting Demonstration 6
Some very strong darks around the bright pinks of the Joe Pye will contrast brightly and make the sunlit pinks seem brighter. I want a few more deep shadows around the flowers.
Painting Demonstration 7
This stage went very fast with a lot of filling in reserved white paper with bright colors. After all, this is a sunlit summer garden.
I still keep a fair amount of white paper showing through the rough dry brush. The sun reflects on flower petals and leaves, making white reflections all over the garden.
I hope this inspires you to paint a garden near you this summer.