Terry Miura • Studio Notes

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Playing With Acid

Green Scarf, 12 x 9 inches, oil on linen

....Acid Green, that is.

Actually, I'm not sure what acid green looks like. It's probably more yellow than this. But all the same, it's a pretty intense, artificial looking green that I'm not sure I've ever used before. It works here though.

The model was clad all in the same bright green. I chose to dull down the blouse because I thought it was way too much otherwise.

The green scarf was painted toward the very end, after I worked on the head for about two hours. The face was looking pretty pale and colorless, but I knew that the scarf would provide the exclamation point that I needed in the end, so I didn't worry. The slight pink hues in the flesh tones, I guessed, would look redder when surrounded by all that green, and I was happy to see that my aim was on target.

A couple of other color strategies to note here: The background is also green, and this is not representational of what was actually behind the model. I made it green so it would be tonal and thus harmonious with the punch greens of the fabric.  Also, the grayed down green of the fabric is a mix of the bright green of the scarf, plus the pinks and the reds I used in the flesh. By using colors that I've already established in the painting, the harmony is achieved more easily and predictably.

All in all, I like it very much.


  1. It does have great color harmony, and great edgework and looseness!
    What kind of brushes, and any medium, were used?

  2. Great use of the palette. This is beautiful, Terry.

  3. Nice tones and brushwork. The marks in this painting give life and expression to the portrait! ...not an easy thing to do. I'm curious how much time you spent.

  4. Fantastic! I had trouble seeing the green background with my computer moniter settings no doubt. I can imagine what it looks like in person. Beautiful!

  5. Had to comment on this one Terry. Just that I really like this painting and hope to make it on a Friday in the near future.

  6. Beautiful work Terry! I love the purple in her hair too. This ones extra nice, sir!

  7. Really appreciate your notes on color and limited palettes. I've been working with an extremely limited, extremely saturated palette for quite a while. I'm making the jump to a more inclusive, somewhat less saturated one due to the influence of a Carolyn Anderson workshop.
    I think and hope I can keep color harmony.

  8. thank you for the comments everyone!~

    Judy, I use mostly natural bristle flats, No. 2, 6, and 8.

    RLee, this was a three hour session. I spent the first half hour drawing in my sketchbook, and the next two hours on the head, and the last half hour on scarf, background, et al. With lots of coffee breaks.