Autumn Forest Study in Gouache

Another painting with my new “perfect autumn palette.”

Today I spent a good two hours on this forest study, and here’s what I learned.

Limited Palette Of 5 Colors

  • Prussian blue
  • Cad-free lemon yellow
  • Perylene black
  • Permanent Alizarin Crimson
  • Burnt Sienna

Plus zinc white.

The reference:

First thing is that it was important to keep the background of the distant trees DARK. I used a combination of prussian blue and perylene black. There’s a misconception that ALL distant elements need to be less saturated and less vibrant. However this is a perfect example where atmospheric perspective “rules” don’t come into play. Pretty much everything within our view is closer proximity so we don’t have to worry about that. Keeping it dark is more important because otherwise the trees with pops of highlight wouldn’t stand out. The darker the background, the brighter the sunlight will appear.

In such a small space, there’s only so much detail I could capture. Forests have so much variety of texture and color and it’s important to distill it down to the most important stuff. So I focused on color shifts and light pouring through the trees.

If you would like to watch my process, you can watch the live stream replay here:

Posted by

I'm an independent artist living in Scotland. Always chasing the light, and painting the beautiful highlands.

One thought on “Autumn Forest Study in Gouache

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.