Variety in greensPosted: June 7, 2015
A few weeks ago someone asked if I could write a post about mixing greens. This pond scene seems like a good place to start.
There are really two parts to this answer. The first has to do with the pigments you use and the second with how you vary the greens in the scene. Let’s start with the pigments. Are you using tube/premixed greens? Sap Green would be an example of this. Or do you make your own greens from mixing yellow and blue? I do a bit of both. I have Azo Green (a lighter, more acid-looking green), Sap Green and Phthalo Green on my palette. I use them all, as well as mix my own greens from yellow and blue. I like the more natural greens that I can achieve from the mixes, and the combos I use most frequently for that are Azo Yellow and Ultramarine Blue, Azo Yellow and Indanthrene Blue, and Quinacridone Gold and Indanthrene Blue.
The reason I use so many combos to mix greens has to do with the second part of the answer. I want variety when a scene is dominantly green. I want some greens to be greyish (like the second layer of foliage below), some to be yellowish (like the grasses in the front of the pond) and some to be dark (like the shapes between the leaves). I can’t get that variety with one tube of green. If you notice, I’ve added some red in the foliage too, which— because it’s the complementary colour to green — really enlivens the greens.
And a little reminder: today is the last day to enter the draw to win my online video class “Sketching Landscapes in Pen, Ink and Watercolor” for free on the website Craftsy.com. Here’s the link: http://www.craftsy.com/ext/ShariBlaukopf_Giveaway Hopefully I’ll be announcing the lucky winner very soon.