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Old 03-16-2008, 11:18 PM
learning to paint learning to paint is offline
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Do you mix greens or use convenience mixtures (Perm Sap Green, etc.)?

I've been trying to be a purist using Winsor Greens (B/S and Y/S) and the various yellows and oranges to mix natural greens... with a touch of red or purple to neutralize. Generally, I am getting good results, but I always seem to be a few tones off (usually, a bit too bright or a bit too muddy).

Acknowledging that this is tricky and requires practice, I wondered whether most people:

A. Use a convenience green (which one: Permanent Sap Green? Hooker's Green? A Daniel Smith mix such as Undersea Green?)?

B. Take the time to do the mix yourself?

Tips and tricks welcome. I'm very curious about what other people use for natural greens. (And yes, I've read lots of other threads, Handprint on mixing greens, etc.-- I'm just looking for more personal stories and experience here).

Thanks!
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:35 PM
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Re: Do you mix greens or use convenience mixtures (Perm Sap Green, etc.)?

Good question. I have MG Hooker's Green on my palette but don't use it straight unless it's being layered on top of a different color. It's a wonderful green to start out with in a mixture, too, adding a blue or red to make it darker or yellow to lighten it. I think it's good to have a variety of greens in any painting so by layering green on top of blue or yellow, you can get some nice variations that way, also.

I'll be back to see all the varied answers you get. This should be interesting!
Grace
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:46 PM
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Re: Do you mix greens or use convenience mixtures (Perm Sap Green, etc.)?

I typically mix most of my greens. Typical mixes for me are quite dull, and I avoid the split-primary ideal of a lemony-yellow and a cyan sort of mix, as I just don't read natural greens as being that saturated. I mostly work with combinations of cad yellow pale or raw sienna (sometimes yellow ochre), with either FUB or Payne's Gray. The cad and PG mix some beautiful dull greens, IMO.

I have used viridian in the past, to mix darks with various crimson paints, as well as to shift blues towards turquoise, but I never used it alone...looks too much like mouthwash. I now prefer to mix my greens and to throw in a few more blues for textural variety (I'm currently in love with W&N Manganese Blue Hue, but mostly for skies, not so much for mixing greens).

I have, however, recently been toying with the idea of including a convenience green in my palette, just to see how much mileage I could get from it. I have an unused tube of W&N Hooker's Green which might be the initial basis for my experimentation.
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Old 03-17-2008, 07:05 AM
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Re: Do you mix greens or use convenience mixtures (Perm Sap Green, etc.)?

I use combinations of my blues - Cerulean, Cobalt, Ultramarine, Prussian, Winsor Blue green Shade with my yellows - Cad Yelow, Lemon Yellow, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna with touches of red to darken them.

Doug
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Old 03-17-2008, 08:35 AM
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Re: Do you mix greens or use convenience mixtures (Perm Sap Green, etc.)?

The tube green on my pallett is MaiMeri Blu Hookers. I used to use Daniel Smith Sap green, but I attend a workshop twice a year and the artist uses and sells MaiMeri Blue. I have replaced my paints to use what he uses at the workshops - he claims the "new" hookers is the same as the sap in that brand.

Anyway. I usually mix greens.....I'll use any blue, or Paynes gray, and a warm or cool yellow. I may use a little bit of the Hookers to add some punch to it - but I almost never use the tube green on it's own. I do also like Daniel Smith's undersea green and I'll use that in some areas too.

I guess what I'm saying is I don't really have a "formula". I've had fine luck just throwing some colors together. I tend to do trees in a wet on wet manor and put dots of many different shades of green (and also a small bit of red, purple, orange, etc) all near eachother and let them mix on the wet paper.
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Old 03-17-2008, 08:42 AM
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Re: Do you mix greens or use convenience mixtures (Perm Sap Green, etc.)?

What a question.
You have touched me with that one. I am striving to become a landscape artist, and my journey into green has been an integral part of this trip.

I learned early that although sap green is a delightful colour and looks like the most familiar hue of green I see in trees around me - that there is much more to the story.

First of all, when I paint I am not photographing what i see. I am painting it, and watercolour painting is a highly interpretive art. So, I am redesigning the world I see. Which means, that since green fills up so much of my landscapes, it is important to use green to my advantage.

For example, to have my greens fade in to the background, i may soften them with cerulean or light cobalt blue. Springtime greens are nicely mixed with lemon yellow. Hot summer greens look good with the strength of cadmium orange or yellow.

Another consideration is difference in species. Up here, where I live rich, dark summertime maples look different from birches, which in turn took different from cedar trees. Wilows in spring have a waxy look.

In the picture I am presently working on, I have played with cadmium yellow, and when the paint was mid way through the drying process, I have dropped a fine touch of red into it, and here and there the smallest touch of sap green, to let it flow.

Generally, I blend my greens to separate trees both in proxmity to one another, and to give my pictures a sense of distance. My summer background greens are sometimes, almost grey-bluish-green in hue.
Close up dark greens are often layered, from a lighter tone to having a final mix of ultramarine blue, to create deep shadows.

I am a sap green junkie and itis my most preferred green.

I rarely if ever, use green in distant hills.

Thank you for your thought provoking posting.

Win

Last edited by Baggy : 03-17-2008 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 03-17-2008, 08:44 AM
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Re: Do you mix greens or use convenience mixtures (Perm Sap Green, etc.)?

I absolutely LOVE Daniel Smith's Undersea Green and use it a lot; I also use Holbein's Shadow Green and DS Olive Green. I use Winsor Newton's Green Gold in landscapes a lot as well.

I sometimes mix greens using yellows and blues from the palette I am using for a particular painting to keep them harmonious with the rest of the painting.

One reason I like tube greens (with additions of other hues to tone them up or down as the case may be), is their consistency. I find mixing greens lacks that if I don't make a big enough batch. They also separate on my palette sometimes into their component parts.

I like what Amy said ^^^ about throwing color together and being lucky.

Sylvia

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Old 03-17-2008, 10:19 AM
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Re: Do you mix greens or use convenience mixtures (Perm Sap Green, etc.)?

I, like many others, tend to mix my own greens; when I first started painting, tho, I used tube greens (usually either sap green or hookers green). On a painting that I've been working on recently, I ended up making up a great grayish green color by putting burnt sienna down first (after wetting the paper) and almost immediately putting down a mixture (that I made up for a previous painting) of FUB and Indigo--more FUB than Indigo...loved the green that it made. Wish I'd taken a pic of it...

Generally, I much prefer making my own greens even tho it's more work and you have less control...not to mention what Sylvia (painterbear) said about mixing up ENOUGH--very frustrating. Still, if you want more realistic greens, I think that it's the way to go. Although I'd LOVE to get me some of that Undersea Green!

Michele
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Old 03-17-2008, 10:42 AM
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Re: Do you mix greens or use convenience mixtures (Perm Sap Green, etc.)?

I mix my greens, one of my favourite greens is made by mixing winsor blue- green shade with burnt umber. Use my tube greens to mix browns ...warm greens with warm reds make beautiful clear browns. Also use tube greens to mix black variants. My favourite green is cobalt green.
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:11 AM
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Re: Do you mix greens or use convenience mixtures (Perm Sap Green, etc.)?

I mix mine just like Doug's color combinations plus I use DS Undersea Green. If low on that, (it is UB + Quinacridone Gold), I mix it. Only use phthalo green to put with alizarin for rich black. DS Sap Green is a beautiful color but used alone it will kill anything around it very fast. But the Undersea is the closest color manufactured IMO that compares to nature's greens. So I use a full range of yellows with a full range of blues (warms and cools of both primaries) to mix natural looking greens. But watch out for some which are fairly opaque and if mixed together can appear thick or muddy. I do like Raw Sienna vs. Yellow Ochre to use with Prussian Blue or FUB. For an olive green I do mix any fairly transparent yellow (Arylide, Aureolin) with tube black.
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:27 AM
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Re: Do you mix greens or use convenience mixtures (Perm Sap Green, etc.)?

I use Hookers, Permanent Sap, Underseas, and Prussian greens as well as mix my own sometimes when the painting needs it.

However I have learned to not use the convenience greens straight from the tube for the most part. Always mixining them with other colors I am using especially their complements to tone it.
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Old 03-17-2008, 12:26 PM
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Re: Do you mix greens or use convenience mixtures (Perm Sap Green, etc.)?

"convenience mixtures" is my middle name!!

esp. magenta, turquoise green, purple, and lime (spring) green...
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Old 03-17-2008, 12:55 PM
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Re: Do you mix greens or use convenience mixtures (Perm Sap Green, etc.)?

I find the problem with tube greens is that they visually sit in the same space. Mixed greens can more readily pull in the direction of their components and create more "space" visually.

Thalo green, which seems to be in most convenience greens, always seems to assert itself, no matter what you mix with it.

In the summer here, everything is almost the same green. To get a sense of distance in a painting I find it necessary to exagerate the warm/cool, bright/dull variations.

Having said that I do like to use viridian with a cool red to get a granulating, soft violet sometimes...but rarely as a base for green mixes.
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:54 PM
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Re: Do you mix greens or use convenience mixtures (Perm Sap Green, etc.)?

I agree with John, & Kay, tube green makes great blacks though I use it very rarely at all. I like mixtures for my greens though I need much more practice!
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Old 03-17-2008, 02:41 PM
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Re: Do you mix greens or use convenience mixtures (Perm Sap Green, etc.)?

Me again I find these types of threads make my head spin. So much information and so many ways to make green. And we are all so passionate about how we do it.

One thing to keep in mind is the temperature of the yellow or blue hue you are mixing. I've mixed yellow and blue and got a yucky color I couldn't wait to wipe off my pallette because I wasn't thinking about keeping my warm with warm or whatever....

Just one more thing to keep our head spinning!
Grace
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