View Full Version : Greens - and an unusual approach

07-06-2003, 06:49 AM
I occasionally drop in to another art website, and came across this unusual concept today. You might find it interesting to read, and perhaps comment on? It is all about green, and look at the second section from someone called Sue , offering advice about not painting what you see, but instead, with marketing in mind, MATCHING up to a piece of mount board so that you have a better chance of framing well, and therefore selling. I've never seen or heard anything quite like this before!



07-06-2003, 07:38 AM
Hi Jackie,

I do a lot of work, murals mostly, in homes. I am almost always asked to match the colors that are already present in the room. I've found that by adding a lot of gray to my usually bright colors, I can do that. I've been surprised at how VERY gray most colors are in upholstery and drapery fabric. Paintings done this way, I call "sofa paintings" and it's what helps pay the bills.

I guess it depends on what your goal is. Personally, I'd rather paint what I'm inspired to paint, with the colors I choose, and let the buyers worry about matching colors to it! Can't always do what I'd rather, though.


07-06-2003, 07:46 AM
Very intersting,....maybe that's why folks but those two a penny prints you see in department stores rather than buy an original ....because it matches the decor.....I don't think I could paint with that in mind, but would interested to hear what others think.


07-06-2003, 10:56 AM
Fascinating stuff!! But I feel it is a bit mad. There are so many colours (of green if you like) in mounts available, that it would be hard to NOT find a mount that matches your painting. So whatever colour you'd wanted to choose for that landscape, it would always find a match.
The greys in paintings, Ruth, that I find very interesting too! I suppose it is very true, and I wonder if that works in framed paintings as well. It is rather sad of course, and if you'd only do paintings (not murals) you'd wonder if you want to adjust to this sort of marketing schemes, but it might just pay the bill......
Very interesting!!

07-06-2003, 02:56 PM
It kind of reminds me of a time when I was a kid and we were looking for a dog. We brought home this lovely black dog and my Mum said we couldn't keep him cause he didn't go with decor!!!!! LOL. As soon as I left home I got myself a black dog ;)

Deborah Secor
07-06-2003, 03:48 PM
LOL I just had to laugh when I read this article on green...!!!

Allow me to share a true story. I worked for several long, challenging and good years with PSA Master Pastelist Albert Handell. At one point I approached him with the problem I was having with the color green.

I noticed that I had twice or three times as many greens as any other color in my palette. The problem was that every time I went to the art supply store I got more greens in an effort to find the 'right' green. There are only so many greens available and I must have had three of each.

He assigned me the task of painting ONLY green subjects. He didn't limit my palette, only the subject. I had to paint anything green: trees, grass (soon boring), barns, cars, bottles, plates, I found every green subject imaginable, even green eyes!

You know what came of it? I learned how to use every color in the rainbow and in my palette to paint green. To this day I see the purple and orange in green trees and the way trees become slightly lavender in the distance, but are flavored with yellow when nearby.

It was a great exercise! I still use lots of warm colors behind and amid my greens.

(And I, too refuse to paint with mats in hand. Been there, done that--and it didn't work!)

07-06-2003, 03:50 PM
I"ve never heard of someone matching a dog to the decor...but I can see how the black fur might be too contrasting to white furniture! LOL

By the way...leather doesn't seem to attract fur!

About matching the colors to mat colors! You'd be better off buying some fabric swatches and matching colors to them.

And right now in the decor world, the favorite greens are warmer and grayer...sort of a stone green (that's what I call it) in a medium value. The khaki color is also warmer now...and taupe is never called taupe! anymore. LOL

I hear this comment a lot..."I love your paintings but they wouldn't fit in my home...they are so bright"....and I usually reply "I understand...the colors of nature are much brighter than most color schemes that designers recommend...but they do have to sell all that paint they manufacture".


07-06-2003, 07:09 PM
Originally posted by Drumbeat-trish
It kind of reminds me of a time when I was a kid and we were looking for a dog. We brought home this lovely black dog and my Mum said we couldn't keep him cause he didn't go with decor!!!!! LOL. As soon as I left home I got myself a black dog ;)

Trish, I'm rocking laughing here, you've got to be joking..... :D:D

Love the painting Deborah, love the story even more. :)

Carly are you sure about dog fur and leather ;)

I hear this comment a lot..."I love your paintings but they wouldn't fit in my home...they are so bright"....and I usually reply "I understand...the colors of nature are much brighter than most color schemes that designers recommend...but they do have to sell all that paint they manufacture".

Great. LOL!

So what do they call taupe now....?


Deborah Secor
07-06-2003, 07:20 PM
thanks Mo... It's actually a close up of a painting...

my question exactly--what DO they call taupe?

What a great idea, "No you cannot have that (dog, cat, bird, guinea pig, etc.) It does not match the carpeting." I have a friend who picked out her carpets to match her golden retrievers. Took the dogs right into the carpet place. It worked out pretty well. But I never thought of matching animals.

07-06-2003, 08:57 PM
Here's an article I found about naming colors for paint in home decor. Thought some of you would find this interesting too.


I was thinking perhaps I should begin titling my landscapes after paint colors! LOL

(have had navy leather for twenty years...has made it thru one child, two dogs, and two cats...without a scratch or fur balls! but you should see some of the cushions I've thrown out! LOL)

Deborah Secor
07-06-2003, 11:59 PM
I JUST finished painting my concrete floor in the living room using Vienna Mist, Clove Dust and Antique Terra Cotta, in that order. Am I some kind of victim of a marketing scheme? LOL!!!

I just liked the colors.

So, Carly, what would you paint for the title "Taupe Trivia" or "Embrace", or "Enlightened"? (Actual paint color names from the chart I have here.) I think they had too many margaritas that day...


07-07-2003, 12:47 AM
I have a day job to pay the bills. Damned if I'll paint to match anyone's decor. If nobody buys them, at least I'll have something I like on my own walls.

07-07-2003, 02:38 AM
I matched the choice of my partner with my favourite sofa.......:D :D


07-07-2003, 04:12 PM
For anyone still interested...

Taupe is now called Beige Mist. One paint company calls it Classic Gray. A recent magazine article I read called it 'English Gray'...and you might also see 'English Cottage Tan'.

English Cottage sounds like a good subject for painting! I can see it now with a Misty Beige fog settling around the English gray clad shutters creating a moody atmosphere in the village of Tan!

Can you tell its summer and I don't want to go outside in the heat?!!

07-07-2003, 10:08 PM
Jackie - interesting article though I don't think this is the path I'm going to take.

Deborah - I think your comments on only painting in green is something I really need to do for awhile - though I have to say it doesn't thrill me at all. I'm pretty sure it would help me since I didn't realize all the colors in skin complextions until I started really looking more closely and green subjects aren't any I really look at enough to study.

Tell me more - did you have to paint green from life subjects or could you use photos? I really am intrigued!!!

As for matching your golden retriever to your furniture and carpet - hmm.... Does that mean I should match my comforter in my bedroom/studio to my pastel box? Oh no!!!

Trish - loved the explanation your folks gave you about the dog! I'll have to remember that one.



Deborah Secor
07-07-2003, 10:27 PM
Barb-- I painted from photos mostly but that was because I was mom to a three or four year old at the time and getting out on location was impossible. I painted strictly landscpaes at the time and the view out my living room window only afforded so much to paint. I think you could make this work from life, though, maybe even better than using photographs. I always see more color on location or when I paint a still life than I do from a photo. The key for me was having to show the work to Handell. If I'd been left on my own I probably would have shirked and cheated.

So, maybe you need to commit to showing us a 'green' painting here once a week or once a month... ;)

07-08-2003, 08:49 PM
Dee - I'm taking up that challenge. I'll do what I can to post it soon.


07-09-2003, 07:48 AM
This is a great topic -- greens!

I am a landscape artist (mostly) and trees and green are my favorite subject and color. I agree most artists tend to try to find the "right" green, when some other color can make you think you are looking at green.

It has taken me 20 years (been painting 31) to finally understand that green trees have red, orange, blue, purple, etc. in them! Painting plein air had a lot to do with my learning - but painting from photos was of course a necessary thing a lot of times.

At one point last year, I painted several paintings not using green at all in my landscapes. No one liked them much -- but it did me a lot of good to try it. The paintings I did after that have loads more "other" colors in those green areas. But, I did sell a couple: one of those, "Blue Toccoa", with a very large blue oak tree as the main subject and the other was "Oak in Purple"!

I like what Albert Handell suggested -- paint in the color you are having trouble with, when you start getting bored, you will look for new ways to express yourself!

Carly, I can't wait to see your painting titled "English Cottage" based on the color "taupe"!:D

And, all the stories about dogs and matching the decor are just too funny! Love them! Sounds like a Mom, doesn't it?

Deborah, love your work, glad to see you here and like reading your remarks - very insightful.


Deborah Secor
07-09-2003, 10:34 AM
Okay, Barb, I'll be looking for those green paintings! LOL This should be fun...

Thanks for the welcome words Marsha. I've discoverd in a very short time the value of participating here.

Carly, I think you have to paint "English Cottage" now so we can see the 'new' taupe at work!

07-09-2003, 11:21 AM
Deborah - glad you are enjoying the fun.

Marsha - great tips.

Ok - I'm off to paint the leaves on this rose bouquet and see what I can come up with in green.