You may be asking, “Yikes! Is Carol going to discuss how to mix with green tubes of paint?!”
As many of you know, I am not a fan of green paint that we can buy in tubes no matter the medium. I much prefer mixing green with yellows and blues as described and demonstrated in my free Mix Greens with Ease e-book. I have never liked tube greens. The top two reasons are, 1. They do not look natural, and 2. Most of them have a very strong tintorial strength and can be over powering. For some reason, my reaction to tube greens is similar to hearing chalk screeching on a black board.
At the same time, I know that many painters have tube greens on their palettes, such as: Viridian, sap green, and permanent green, etc. Given their popularity, I thought I would share with you a few color charts showing how you can mix more natural looking greens using these tube greens. Don’t get me wrong, these unnatural greens do come in handy when painting a green glass vase or creating a sense of fantasy, such as the Wizard of Oz. 🙂 Abstract paintings are open game when it comes to color.
How Do You Make Tube Greens Look Natural?
This first chart displays how I mixed the watercolor tube greens of Winsor green and Viridian with three different reds. You can also see three different ratios of green and red in the rows.
There are some yummy dark greens as well as delightful blue greens that you would find in spruce trees, a deep forest or back in the distance of a landscape painting. Where else could you apply these greens? Because I am mixing the color opposites of red and green, I added only a bit of the red to maintain the integrity of green. It may take some practice in achieving these different hues.
Then I duplicated this chart but this time I added a little bit of aureolin (for those of you who do not know watercolor paints, aureolin is a transparent green-yellow similar to Hansa yellow light) to Viridian and Winsor Green respectively. Notice how the resulting greens warm up nicely and look even more natural.
These next two color charts show the results of mixing three different oil tube greens with the corresponding cadmium red, rose and Indian red. Do these appear natural looking to you? Which ones would you use in a floral, landscape or abstract painting?
Next, I mixed only Viridian with two different yellows – lemon yellow and Hansa yellow medium – as seen in the first row of greens in the chart below. I then mixed this yellow + green mixture with the same reds as above. The subtle differences are difficult to see in this digital format. Time to try out your own chart of greens?
Of course there a many variations of these charts given the colors available to you. Which are you inspired to try mixing?
In the end, mixing my greens with yellows and blues remains my preference over using tube greens. I prefer this because I will have used those same yellows and blues in other mixtures in my painting which creates more unity throughout the piece. However, we live in a world of many options and color is personal. Enjoy making discoveries about color and learning what tickles your fancy.
What is your preference? Does it vary depending on what you are painting? Hopefully the above has inspired you to further explore your colors.
Please share this post with other painters who may benefit from this information. Thank you!