Green, green, green! This time of year can be overwhelming to paint. Making sense of the masses of green foliage can be difficult and frustrating. I try to keep in mind the pattern of light and dark. What’s in the shadow and what’s in the light? Then from there, I try to think of those shapes as planes or facets that are facing either the light or reside in the shadow.

Where is the light coming from? I make sure the forms in shadow stay in the value range I’ve chosen for shadow and likewise for the lights. Also, I tried to pick values that fall in the middle range of darks and the middle range of lights, so that I have room in my palette for the darkest darks and lightest lights when I need accents and highlights. I don’t want to get stuck!

If I can do that, then it doesn’t matter what color I use. I can play around with the color from there, but I have to get the patterns first.


With Warmest Regards,


Painting Minilessons
with Marla Baggetta

These “mini-lessons” grew out of my blog. I love sharing my experience behind the easel, so these are free. I write a new one every two or three weeks, so please feel free to share with artist friends.

​These lessons are mostly written text with graphics…short but useful tidbits from the foundations of painting that touch on subjects such as aerial perspective, simultaneous contrast or using negative spaces. I guide you through different aspects of painting and art that will get you comfortable with using pastels. You’ll gain confidence to attempt work that you might have otherwise been timid about.

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