Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Art Tip #109

In the Green
One of the most common areas of difficulty for beginning & intermediate students is mixing believable greens.  Greens that will harmonize & not look like you squeezed the color "straight out of the tube".  Last week I talked about making my own dark/black.  That dark is the basis for all my greens which I add...can you guess?  My favorite Indian Yellow.  This gives me a dark, fairly transparent mossy green that is the "mother color" of all my greens.

I then add Viridian or more Ultramarine Blue for a "cooler" version of the mossy (warmer) green.  I will occasionally add Phthalo Blue if I really need to push the color.   I try to lighten my colors with different tints of yellows, purples, greys...just about any color but rarely do I add pure white.  While white will lighten & cool, it also makes colors chalky.  

You can see from above that while I start with a desaturated green, I'm able to make beautiful saturated colors with a variety of temperature shifts.  Harmonizing my greens happens because they all have a little bit of that mother color mixture in them.  

It is but a very small sampling of green mixes.  This way of mixing greens & having a limited palette gave me the confidence to mix any color.  What better way to start your day at the easel already knowing that your palette will be harmony each & every time.