- Most beginning artists have trouble mixing greens. We have all been taught since childhood the way to get green is to mix a blue and yellow together.
Usually this gives us a chemical looking, unnatural green. Tube greens or convenience greens have the same problem. What is an artist to do?
A better option is to mix your own.
The first thing you need to do when mixing a green is to notice the shade of green you are wanting to paint. Is it a yellow-green or a blue-green? Is it bright or dull?
To mix greens properly, you need to mix three colors–not just a yellow and blue. You need a third color to help neutralize or dull the green to make it appear as you would see it in nature. Most greens in nature are duller than you think.
Here are some examples of the steps to take when mixing greens:
1. Choose or mix your home base green. I mixed the yellow on the left with the blue on the right to get the green in the center.
2. Adjust the hue by adding yellow or blue. Yellow will make the color warmer and brighter. I added the yellow on the left to the home base green in the center to get the yellow-green on the right.
Blue will darken the color and make it cooler. I added the blue on the left to the home base green in the center to get the blue-green on the right.
3. To make the green appear more natural, add a tiny amount of a neutralizing color (a violet, red, or orange). I used a tiny amount (lighter in value than what is pictured here) of Quinacridone Burnt Orange on the left to the green in the center to get the neutalized greens on the right in the next two samples.
4. Adjust the value by either adding water to lighten the green or use a blue or violet to darken the green.
I created the following color wheel chart that illustrates these concepts. You can add yellow to your home base green to lighten or brighten. Yellow-orange will warm up your green. Blue or blue-violet will make your green cooler or darker. Any color on the color wheel from orange to violet will neutralize or dull the color.
When using greens in a painting or a sketch, you must use a variety of greens to make your sketch more interesting,
I hope this tutorial will help you mix a wonderful variety of greens. I learned a lot about mixing greens from this website which I would encourage you to visit.
Please use this information for your own personal use. Please be fair and do not share! Thank you.