The Red Barn – California Landscape Oil Painting

“The Red Barn” – near Visalia, Calif
9 x 12 inches, oil on linen panel

This painting was an experiment using a very limited palette of primarily viridian and burnt sienna. A little yellow ochre was used in the sky, and a dash of cadmium red highlighted the top of the barn, but all of the rest was done with those two complimentary colors (viridian and burnt sienna)

The barn is on a ranch near Visalia, California, a Sierra foothill area known for cattle ranching as well as fruit orchards.

I have a busy reception weekend coming up and I hope you can join me at one of three new shows where my work will be displayed.

Friday night – reception 7 pm – Carter Sexton Art Gallery –
5308 Laurel Canyon blvd.
North Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA 91607
(818) 763-5050
This is a group show featuring California landscapes.

Saturday evening reception 5 – 7 pm Segil Fine Art Source gallery
Holiday Small Works Show
110 West Lime Avenue
Old Town Monrovia CA 91016
(626) 358-5563

Sunday evening reception 5 – 7 pm – dinner following with reservation
California Art Club Associates Show “Precious Gifts”
Pasadena Womens City Club – Historic Blinn House
160 North Oakland Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91101-1714
(626) 796-0560

Oh, and Sunday from 11 – 1 I’ll be painting at the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena on Oak Knoll Road (S. Lake turns into Oak Knoll) – if you’re in the area.


  1. annie
    December 2, 2009

    One of your great trees, Karen. And this wonderful glowing light coming from the side and permeating the whole landscape.

    Another limited palette to amaze me. I have never used viridian, though I bought some because Vivien Blackburn mentioned it a lot on her blog–and I guess it is useful for her seascapes. So it is interesting to see how it is used here as a mixture.And since I hear a lot about burnt sienna and ultramarine mixtures, it’s fun to know about another color to mix with burnt sienna, Here are some landscape greens which can be so challenging to get for us beginners.

  2. Karen
    December 2, 2009

    Viridian can be overpowering and unnatural looking by itself, but when muted with a red family color it tones it down really nicely. I opted for burnt sienna rather than a pure cadmium red medium or dark because burnt sienna is more transparent and so is viridian. Together they form some really nice transparent darks upon which to layer more opaque paint. Do you see that light bluish background color that almost looks cerulean? It’s viridian and white!

  3. Timaree (freebird)
    December 3, 2009

    I think it was a great experiment and quite successful. This is a great picture. I knew it was California from the big tree.

    Hope you have a wonderful and successful show.

  4. Jo Castillo
    December 3, 2009

    Very beautiful. It is good to try a limited palette once in a while. You pulled it off nicely. You will be busy, wish I could come see. Ah well, one of these years.

  5. Ann
    December 3, 2009

    Wow. This is gorgeous and the limited palette really intrigues me. I was going to ask about the pale blues but then I see you already answered that above. Beautiful soft light in this and I love that path. Good luck with all your shows!

  6. Marian Fortunati
    December 3, 2009

    Gotta match???

    Man you ARE busy girl!!! See ya all weekend.

  7. vivien
    December 13, 2009

    and it makes beauitiful deep dark forest greens or glowing maroons when mixed with Alizarin crimson too :>)

    Interesting to see how you use it :>)

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