It’s St. Patrick’s Day – YIPPEE! – and Kermit has given you a call requesting you to paint a portrait of him. He called because you do frog portraits on a regular basis. The first question to cross your mind might be, “How do I mix a bright green?” Now, we know that Kermit is no average frog and that you will need the right greens to capture his essence and his charm.
How Do You Mix a Bright Green?
Which tube of yellow and blue are you going to reach for? Do you think about warm and cool when asking yourself that question? Or do you think about the color bias of these two primaries?
If you want to mix a clean bright green, the best yellows to use are those that carry a color bias of green. These are also called cool yellows. For example, lemon yellow, Hansa yellow, cadmium yellow light/pale.
For your blue, you need a nice clean blue with a green bias or your green-blues. These are also called cool blues. These blues are your: Prussian, cerulean, thalo and Winsor blues.
Above you can see that I have mixed my lemon yellow (yellow with a green bias) with my cerulean blue (blue with a green bias) with a palette knife.
To get closer to Kermit’s skin tone, I need to make the mixture with a higher ratio of yellow.
This “scale” of color mixtures between the yellow and blue shows you the possibilities. See below.
Viola! Kermit is going to be pleased that you are able to match his glorious green. Isn’t it a joy to be able to mix a bright green and so easily?
What would you add to your bright green to make it even closer to his skin hue as per his photo here? How would you vary your bright green mixtures for Kermit’s highlights and shadows? Try a couple different tubes of green-blue if you have them and evaluate the results.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!! Kermit is so glad that there is at least one day a year when we celebrate his favorite color!! Click this link to sing his song, “It’s Not Easy Being Green.”
Color Tip: Do NOT grab your cadmium yellow or ultramarine blue if you want to mix a bright green. Why? Both of those tubes of paint carry a color bias of red in them. Red is the complement of green and that will dull your green.
Interested in learning more about mixing color? Visit my online color video course produced by Craftsy. I explain and show you how to mix bright and dull greens.
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