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SamL
12-10-2014, 11:20 PM
Mixing the dark green colors of coniferous trees (pine, juniper, cypress) is more challenging for me than mixing the light green color of spring grass. For example, this Italian cypress:
http://www.2020site.org/trees/images/ItalianCypress.jpg

(1) If I have 7 basic colors: black, titanium white, ultramarine blue, cad yellow, cad red, burnt umber, yellow ochre, can I mix that green?

(2) If it is impossible, then what tube colors are necessary to mix that green?

Bradicus
12-10-2014, 11:50 PM
Sam,
I believe you can mix that green in those trees with what you have.
The cad yell or yellow orche and ultramarine blue( shortened to FUB or UB).
If you mix those two and maybe a bit of wht to make lighter if needed.
And for darker or greyed green, add a bit of red ( or burnt umber)to UB and yellow ochre to pull it down darker.
You can make black by continueing to add red or burnt umber.
The burnt umber might be easier use. I dont use it, but I use burnt sienna, and its very simular.

The best is to bust those paints out and just start mixing.
You will learn the most and fastest from that.
My remarks apply to oil paint, BTW!

Good luck,
Brad

Gigalot
12-11-2014, 03:40 AM
No. You can try, however, Ultramarine Blue + Yellow Ochre +Black. But, I suspect, it is not as good as I can mix with other paints.
The best color for me gives pure PG8 Nitroso Green pigment. Sennelier have it. You can also try Transparent Yellow iron oxide + Phthalo Green, Prussian Blue + Indian Yellow PY83, Ultramarine Blue + Indian Yellow PY110. Phthalo Blue + Transparent red oxide. Terre verte, itself is also a useful color.

BTW, real Cypress trees near my house have almost black color. It can be painted with pure black with tinny amount of Chomium oxide green in lights. But photographed and after that, photoshoped versions of this tree can look much more colorful. :) But the basic color of realistic Cypress tree is black.

Steve Orin
12-11-2014, 07:46 AM
Not to cause a stir... But take care with black. It kills by drinking in all light. Your paintings will glow if you learn to use positive light. Use the blue & yellows til you're close, add white to get closer & then judge how much the color needs to be neutralized. Red should be your primary neutralizer but brown may be useful. A tad at a time at that stage.

mariemarie
12-11-2014, 03:38 PM
Thank you Brad, Gigalot, Steve :) It is nice to have such a summary now and then. It is refreshing and motivating!
Indeed, Steve, my modest black Christmas tree needs 300 white lights!
And, Gigalot, I couldn't resist this time and I ordered PY83 along with some lead white.
You know, we are already at the verge of a shortage of lead white in Canada. I had a really hard time to find some and part of my order is BO with no date...:crossfingers:

Mythrill
12-11-2014, 06:53 PM
Not to cause a stir... But take care with black. It kills by drinking in all light. Your paintings will glow if you learn to use positive light. Use the blue & yellows til you're close, add white to get closer & then judge how much the color needs to be neutralized. Red should be your primary neutralizer but brown may be useful. A tad at a time at that stage.

There's something that I would like to reinforce. You should not only take care with using too much black, but also with using too much white. Titanium White (PW 6), in particular, can absolutely kill your colors when you want to get very light values.

Instead of adding white to lighten colors, consider mixing a colorless pigment, like oleogel, to your paint. Colorless pigments make very light tints much more vibrant.

Gigalot
12-12-2014, 04:18 AM
Thank you Brad, Gigalot, Steve :) It is nice to have such a summary now and then. It is refreshing and motivating!
Indeed, Steve, my modest black Christmas tree needs 300 white lights!
And, Gigalot, I couldn't resist this time and I ordered PY83 along with some lead white.
You know, we are already at the verge of a shortage of lead white in Canada. I had a really hard time to find some and part of my order is BO with no date...:crossfingers:

I bought one tube of pure PY83 colour. I found, that it is extremely beautiful color. Absolutely gorgeous! It can boost my yellows significantly! :clap:

SamL
12-12-2014, 06:32 AM
Use the blue & yellows til you're close, add white to get closer & then judge how much the color needs to be neutralized. Red should be your primary neutralizer but brown may be useful. A tad at a time at that stage.

Here was my difficulty of trying to mix blue and yellow to get coniferous green.

If I mix blue and yellow so the hue becomes green, the lightness resembles spring grass or broad-leaved-tree. It is much lighter than coniferous green. To make it darker, I have to continue to add blue. When the lightness is close to a coniferous tree, the hue has turned too far counterclockwise past green in the color wheel, and became cyan. The hue no longer resembles a coniferous tree.

Gigalot
12-12-2014, 07:24 AM
Chromium oxide +Black +Ochre

Steve Orin
12-12-2014, 10:54 AM
Thanks for not going ballistic at my mention of black's dangers. So many times the other side has ganged up & created argument. Discussion is good, especially for those just figuring out their choices.
Mythrill, transparent mediums are good if you paint in transparencies. Many do. Perhaps most, at one time or other. But a painter in oils should learn to mix opaque colors and get them right.
Sam, I'll be working on two oils today & will play a bit. I downloaded your pic. Will give alternatives to Gig's input. Realize though, that we're talking about minor differences IF black is used minutely. I've seen many painters who use it way too much & although the good ones come up with good work ( sometimes nearly great!) I can see what the images COULD have been. So YOU will make your decisions. We can only try to help. Back atya later.

Hilvar
12-12-2014, 11:25 AM
With TW, UB, cad yellow and cad red you can pretty much hit all the hues and values in that photo- certainly for the trees at any rate. You certainly don't 'need' ivory black to get a black or dark green with those other colours you have- but of course it comes down to personal preference and style of painting.

Gigalot
12-12-2014, 11:28 AM
Thanks for not going ballistic at my mention of black's dangers.
Chromium oxide is so opaque, it can kill any black :) . A good thing to use with black, but it can make another trouble - Chromium Oxide is "flat". It must be use with accuracy, much chromium make flat green, less chromium pops up black :lol:
looking to a real cypress tree today, I can say that some tinted with white green and muted white color also must be added to highlight branches color, while the center of tree looks very dark. Not black, but probably raw umber color with a tiny amount of green (ochre?) hue.

mariemarie
12-12-2014, 11:41 AM
I bought one tube of pure PY83 colour. I found, that it is extremely beautiful color. Absolutely gorgeous! It can boost my yellows significantly! :clap:
Oh! Wow! Gigalot! It is indeed Williamsburg pure PY83 that I bought. I so much look forward to receiving it...sometimes «next year» :rolleyes: The other tubes are pure lead white, also backorder.

My initial post wasn't clear, sorry. My English is very limited; it is frustrating :crying:

Gigalot
12-12-2014, 01:21 PM
Cypress tree, painted by Van Gogh:

Bradicus
12-12-2014, 05:13 PM
Here was my difficulty of trying to mix blue and yellow to get coniferous green.

If I mix blue and yellow so the hue becomes green, the lightness resembles spring grass or broad-leaved-tree. It is much lighter than coniferous green. To make it darker, I have to continue to add blue. When the lightness is close to a coniferous tree, the hue has turned too far counterclockwise past green in the color wheel, and became cyan. The hue no longer resembles a coniferous tree.
Sam,
You are missing the third part.
So mix blue and yell to find a close green, then to reduce its 'bright-green-ness', you need to grey it with its compliment colour, red.
Mix your green( that you think is close but TOO green) then and a very small amounts of red slowly. That will grey it down.

Should do the trick. Can almost never mix a non tubed colour with just two colours.

Hope I am addressing your issue.
Cheers,
Brad

SamL
12-13-2014, 05:23 AM
So mix blue and yell to find a close green, then to reduce its 'bright-green-ness', you need to grey it with its compliment colour, red.
Mix your green( that you think is close but TOO green) then and a very small amounts of red slowly. That will grey it down.
Brad

Brad, thanks for the suggestion.

Suppose that I have mixed blue and yellow and achieved a perfect green hue, around 120 degrees in the color wheel. Now, the mixture has a rather light value, like spring grass, but unlike a coniferous tree. To make it look like a coniferous tree, I do not need to change the hue; I only need to change the lightness.

At this point, I do not think it is "TOO GREEN". I think it is "TOO LIGHT".

I do not need to "grey it". I only need to "darken it".

Now, if I add red, it will change the hue, and turn it clockwise in the color wheel, towards yellow, brown and red.

So, the question is: How to keep the hue unchanged (at green), and only darken the value?

Gigalot
12-13-2014, 06:40 AM
If you have "basic green" hue, you can change value adding black there. For me, it is the best and most easy way. Practically, I will start mixing adding small amount of black paint into i pile of Yellow ochre. The reason is, that Ochre is weak paint, while Black is stronger. Moreover, black can give a green hue to ochre. When mixture become proper in value, a small amounts of Ultramarine can change Hue to an exact range. Then, you can correct value adding black or ochre. Probably, some Zinc White needs to mix proper lights...

The rule is: use close colored paint for mixing, add stronger pigment to a weak pigment, but not weak pigment to strong one (otherwise you can waste ton of weak paint!) , mix a basic color first and then mix lights and darks separately, using this basic color.

Color space of Van Gogh's cypress in CMY:

SamL
12-13-2014, 04:27 PM
add stronger pigment to a weak pigment, but not weak pigment to strong one (otherwise you can waste ton of weak paint!) ,
Color space of Van Gogh's cypress in CMY:

Hi Gigalot, thanks for the advice.

I just learned the lesson recently. So now I try to start with a pile of a weak pigment, and add a strong pigment little by little, until the mixture looks right. This way, I save money, and less paint goes to garbage and landfill, which is good for the environment, too.

SamL
12-13-2014, 04:38 PM
Hi Gigalot, I was in Tbilisi earlier this year. May I send an email via WetCanvas to chat about Tbilisi? That way we will not go off topic on this forum.


black can give a green hue to ochre.


I have heard people saying this. But I have never understood why.

So, the question is: Why “black can give a green hue to ochre”?

Is this statement true for neutral black? Or is it true only for cool black?

Ochre’s hue is 30 degrees on the color wheel. If I add neutral black to ochre, wouldn’t the mixture’s hue continue to be 30 degrees?

karenlee
12-13-2014, 07:30 PM
Black + yellow is a combination notorious for producing a greenish hue. Try it.

Bradicus
12-13-2014, 08:16 PM
Brad, thanks for the suggestion.

Suppose that I have mixed blue and yellow and achieved a perfect green hue, around 120 degrees in the color wheel. Now, the mixture has a rather light value, like spring grass, but unlike a coniferous tree. To make it look like a coniferous tree, I do not need to change the hue; I only need to change the lightness.

At this point, I do not think it is "TOO GREEN". I think it is "TOO LIGHT".

I do not need to "grey it". I only need to "darken it".

Now, if I add red, it will change the hue, and turn it clockwise in the color wheel, towards yellow, brown and red.

So, the question is: How to keep the hue unchanged (at green), and only darken the value?
Sam,
When you add the compliment colour,red, if directly across on wheel, it will not 'rotate' as you say. It will become darker. And more greyed.
But this is what you are after. The tree is not bright green like grass, it is a darker, grey'er green. If you find it moving yellowish slightly when you add red, add a touch of blue to "pull" it back to the green you want.

Bust out those paints and mix it up.
Honestly, thats where you will find you learn fastest.

Hope I've helped,
Brad

SamL
12-14-2014, 02:45 AM
Black + yellow is a combination notorious for producing a greenish hue. Try it.

Hi Karen Lee,

I believe you. But I hope to find out from people here which blacks would work for this purpose.

In this “Black + yellow --> greenish hue” formula, does it have to be a cool black? Or all blacks (cool, neutral, warm) will work?

Which blacks do you know that will work?

According to Gamblin:
Cool black: Payne's Grey
Neutral black: Black Spinel
Warm blacks: Mars Black, Ivory Black, Van Dyke Brown

Patrick1
12-14-2014, 03:05 AM
For those Italian Cypress in that particular reference scene, my first try would be to mix up an orangey-yellow first (Cad Yellow + Cad Red), then slowly mix Ultramarine Blue into it to get the right hue of green. Yellow Ochre in the mix might work too but will be a bit duller.

Darkening can be accomplished with black (tube black or a mix you made) or the complement...both can work equally well if done right. But the complement here will be more like purple than red (most greens + reds will give a dark brown). I agree about being careful with white - when added to low or moderately-low chroma colors, it can really grey down the color rather than 'liven' it up as you might want.

Patrick1
12-14-2014, 03:22 AM
In this “Black + yellow --> greenish hue” formula, does it have to be a cool black? Or all blacks (cool, neutral, warm) will work?
Every black I've yet used makes a dull green when mixed with any yellow (any yellow that is not too orangey). Even brownish ('warm') blacks will usually mix some kind of green...albeit very dull. And obviously, the bluer the black is, or the more 'lemony' the yellow is, the brighter the green will be. So Paynes Gray (a blueish black) + any kind of lemon yellow (Cadmium, PY3, Bismuth, etc.) will be one of the brightest greens made from yellow + black.

Apodemus
12-14-2014, 07:10 AM
Also, remember that it's more important to make a green that complements other colours in the painting than one which exactly replicates the colour in the tree or the photograph.

DaveCrow
12-14-2014, 10:08 AM
Looking at the reference photo I see a blackish, brownish green.

I paint in watercolors so although I have and occasionally use tube blacks it comes much more naturally to me to create darks by mixing complements. To capture those trees I would start with a dark green then drop reds into the still wet green.

I think that regardless of medium having a few bits of red, brown and orange showing amongst the greens will help those trees to pop and look lively. Many of the plein air oil painters I know will start green landscapes with a red underpainting.

Hilvar
12-14-2014, 10:47 AM
Also, remember that it's more important to make a green that complements other colours in the painting than one which exactly replicates the colour in the tree or the photograph.

Excellent point and perhaps the best advice in this posting, unless the goal is to replicate a photograph of course.

With CadR, UM, and cadY you should get as deep a 'black' you need for adjusting tone in most landscapes. Maybe keep it in a pile on your palette to make it easier. Again you will be able to replicate or get a good approximation to anything in that photo with just four colours. I concur with Bradicus- you will learn how to mix almost anything you need if you start with a limited palette of primaries, it's the best way to learn about making colour. There are of course exceptions and quicker ways of achieving what you want but if one of your goals is to indeed cut down on buying tubes, then start small with select primaries.

karenlee
12-14-2014, 11:07 AM
Bust out those paints and mix it up.
Honestly, that's where you will find you learn fastest.
----Bradicus
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SamL, You have gotten a lot of good advice here, and you show great interest in color theory. BUT, now it's time to get those brushes to work!!! Happy experimenting! No matter how much advice we all give you, nothing will work until you practice and perfect your technique in real time and real paint. GO for it!!!