Monday, February 20

Mixing Believable Greens

I’ll get right to the point: few things spoil a painting quicker than using a green or greens that aren’t either 1) natural looking or 2) appropriate for the motif.
 I discovered two colors for mixing what I think are the most natural-looking greens for your outdoor and landscape paintings-- at least in my humble opinion.
Many, many painters think you must have at least one tube green in your palette, if not more.  I used to be one of them. Yes, there are some greens in nature, and especially in photos, that you just can’t match without using a tube green, but that doesn’t mean you have to.
If you are like me, you probably already have a bin full of tubes of Hookers, Sap, Olive, Viridian, Chromium Oxide, Brilliant Yellow Green, Pthalo and other greens as well.
I maintain that you don’t need to use any of these tube greens. You do, however, need to change your thinking and choices of the greens you use in your paintings. Be creative and inquisitive and inventive by mixing a green(s) that comes as close to the color you’re after.
That is, mix some blues and yellows that make a green that comes as close as possible to the green in your motif. A mixed green will enhance and improve the harmony in your painting, and it will look more natural.
What are the two colors that I think are the best for mixing the most natural looking greens?
Payne’s Gray (the blue) and Lemon Yellow.
Try them yourself and see the great variety of greens you get from a light soft yellow green all the way to a dark woodsy green and everything in between. These really are the greens found most in nature and in landscapes, plants, and trees, as seen both in the distance and in the foreground.
Keep on Painting

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