Earth tones are some of my favorite colors. (Yeah. I know—with all the bright, beautiful colors available in so many mediums, why would browns be my favorite?)

But earth tones are a staple on my palette because they factor so heavily in my favorite subject: horses. Honestly, earth tones are the foundation for most of the things I paint. The only thing I can think of that doesn’t usually include an earth tone of some type is the sky. Especially clear, blue skies.

The most obvious place I use earth tones is in the final stages of a horse portrait, when I’m glazing color over the painting. Colors like Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, and Yellow Ochre are all important for the realistic depiction of everything from cremellos to blacks.

But I also use an earth tone for underpainting work when I use the Flemish method.

For under paintings, I almost always use Raw Umber because it’s opaque, non-fading, and has a blue cast that’s perfect for under painting most of the subjects I paint. Read the full article.