Going Green

Summer is the green season. I love seeing the many shades and tints of green in the landscape and in the garden. Green is so refreshing in real life. But trying to depict that refreshing color on paper can end up disappointing or even disastrous.

I have two ready mixed greens in my palette that I have used for a long time. Recently I have added a new ready made green to experiment with. These are Sap Green, Olive Green and, most recently, Green Apatite, which is very granular. I like them all, but using straight green from the tube, even a beautiful green, can result in a boring painting.

One solution to this is to mix greens using other colors. Another solution is to tone the ready made greens with various colors. But which colors do you use that work well together and create a lively variety of greens?

It has been a long time since I made a color chart of greens, so I decided to dedicate some sketchbook space to seeing how many variations of green I could make using my three ready made greens and the other colors in my palette. The result was 265 swatches of green and variations that have green as a base.

It was a lot of fun to make these mixtures and see them all together on the paper. And it will be nice to have these charts to refer to in the future.

The greens in the picture below were mixed using various yellows and blues from my palette. This makes quite a variety on it’s own. But mixing greens this way seems to result in a distinct blueish cast, for the most part, which I don’t usually see in nature, other than in atmospheric perspective. I would probably use these mixtures discretely.

The greens in picture number two, below, are made by adding various colors to Sap Green and Olive Green.

And the last chart was made by adding more colors to Olive Green and then to Green Apatite.

I do prefer the warmer greens that have my handy ready made greens as a base. It is nice to know what a variety of color I can make using the pigments in my small palette.

And, coincidentally, it happens that the book I am currently reading is about why eating greens, berries and other healthy whole foods can help us to avoid disease and medical expense. I recommend anyone interested in saving their health, or regaining their health, take advantage of reading, How Not To Die, by Michael Greger M.D, FACLM. You can find the book on Amazon.


8 thoughts on “Going Green

  1. Its a great book. For quick references on benefits of different foods check out mini videos on his website Nutritionfacts.org . Stay creative. You inspire me 🙂


  2. Wow, what a lot of greens! I think I may have to have a go at this, it’s hard to make a green that doesn’t look artificial, it’s also a good way to get to know what your colours are capable of making x


  3. Right. I felt pretty limited in the range of greens I had until I did this exercise. It was surprising how it expanded my possibilities without having to purchase any more colors! Have fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. OH my…this is a great idea. I think I have at least 4 different traveling palettes that I use in various times and places…depending on what bag I am carrying and how far I have to walk from the car. I think I should do a green chart for each palette and fold it up and carry it along in my bag! Super idea.


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