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Saturday, July 6, 2019

Mixing Believable Greens


One color that gets a lot of people in trouble is green. Tube green to be exact. Any tube of green by itself isn’t believable. Every tree, shrub or flowering plant is going to shift in greens from warm to cool, pure to grayed…and so on. A landscape is going to shift in greens too. Warmer yellow-greens in the foreground and cooler blue-greens as you go back. 

How do you make believable greens? One word…PRACTICE. It’s not that hard. I recommend you start by keeping a book for color mixing only. I call these my color bibles. I’ve built many  reference books over the years. Combinations I refer to again and again. Greens, triads…and so on.

Mixing paint on the paper (not on the palette) will give you the most interesting greens. Why? You’ll have more variations. I’m sharing greens I made using the current colors on my palette. All of the colors listed below are Daniel Smith Watercolors with the exception of Burnt Sienna which is Winsor Newton. I’ve label all the paint swatches with abbreviations. If you're not familiar with color index code, don't worry. The first letter P means pigment, the next letter is pigment color family (R=red, B=blue…and so on) and the final number is the number issued by the ASTM (American Society for Testing Materials).
Mixing paint on dry paper


Abbreviation (HYM), Paint Name (Hansa Yellow Medium), Color Index Code (PY97)

HYM=Hansa Yellow Medium, PY97
RSL=Raw Sienna Light, PY42
PYD=Permanent Yellow Deep, PY110
GG=Green Gold, PY 150, PY 3, PG 36
QG=Quinacridone Gold, PO 48 PY, 150
MBH=Manganese Blue Hue PB15
FU=French Ultramarine, PB29
PT=Phthalo Turquoise, PB15:3, PG36
BS=Burnt Sienna, PR101
LB=Lunar Black, PBk11

Last week images were taken from my blog without 
permission.  Watermarks © have become an 
unpleasant necessity.





How many green combinations can you identify in my sketch? Some greens are very yellow and other are more blue, grayed... 

Hint: If a green area goes dull add a touch of Quinacridone Rose or Magenta when the pigment is still damp to liven it up.
Happy Painting!
Brenda


23 comments:

  1. Thank you, Brenda! You are of great help to my paintings. I love learning with you, day by day.

    Have a good Sunday!

    Mari Carmen

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    1. Mari, thank you for the wonderful feedback. It’s nice to know my instruction inspires others. Happy painting!

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  2. I have been debating for months about having a ready made green in my palette. Nothing excites me. I feel I am on the right path wanting to mix them, I also like the idea of keeping a special color mixing book. I will do mixes in my daily sketchbook but then have trouble finding them later. You are full of great ideas...thank you so much for sharing.

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  3. Awesome! Thank you! Love that you share your tips & tricks. Much appreciated Brenda! I also use Daniel Smith, Windsor Newton & Holbein. They are great paints. I was ready to give up watercolor painting when I first started learning (I had unknowingly purchased a very student grade paint & paper.) Since investing in good quality watercolor paint & paper, I've been in love with the medium since. Thank you again for this helpful blog post, & all your other posts. Sincerely, Sue Weber

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    1. Sue, You’re so right! Good materials make a huge difference! Glad you stuck with it! 😁

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  4. Sorry to hear that people continue to steal from your work, your creativity, and your willingness to share with all of us. Please know how much you are appreciated! Also love your painting! I'm a fellow "rusty anything" person; trucks, mailboxes, cars, roofs, buildings, etc! :-))

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    1. Peggy, It's because of people like you I continue to share. Thank you for taking the time to write.
      ~Hugs

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  5. I have "tube greens" in my palette, but always end up mixing them with other things. Sometimes it's satisfactory, but I think I need to branch out and do a little more original mixing. Thanks, Brenda, for the inspiration.

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    1. That's right! Always alter a tube greens by mixing with other colors.

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  6. Brenda, I'm sorry that people are taking your images. Whatever happened to asking? I personally do not have many tube greens. One of the tubes is from the Primatek series. One is Sap Green and the other is Phthalo Green. I tend to mix my own greens though and often will mix other colors into the tube greens to get different greens.

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  7. Thanks Brenda, you are always so generous in sharing your knowlege with us. What a great teacher and friend you are! Big hugs, Linda

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  8. Fabulous article Brenda....thank you for explaining greens...I will get a Sketchbook just for color mixing as you suggest and practice πŸŽ¨πŸ’•

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    1. Mary...Great!! You'll love having a record of interesting combinations.

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  9. Thanks for the idea of a colour mixing bible, and how to do it. I think that will be my next 'get to know my materials' project.

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  10. Thanks so much Brenda for this great advice. I always have trouble finding the right green and play around until I get what I want. I really do need to make a color bible, so I can refer to that instead spending extra time trying to remember how I got a certain green in a painting. By the way, how is your little kitty that you rescued a while ago? I'm sure he is being loved a lot! Hugs from me, Sharon in Florida.

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    1. Hi Sharon, Glad you found the green blog post helpful!
      Boone is doing great. He had a little problem with his teeth but all better now. He is such a joy in our lives. He's always happy, loving and wants to play. He's got sooooo much fur BUT doesn't liked to be brushed!
      Brenda

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  11. Hi Brenda, I'm glad to hear Boone's doing good. God definitely put you in the right place that day!!!

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