How to Mix Greens in Watercolour

Skill Level : 1 Beginner, 2 Intermediate, 3 Advanced

Medium : Watercolour Painting

Subject : General

Tutor : Dennis Clark

Class Length : 2 hours 09 minutes

Avg Rating : No Ratings Yet

Class Description

Many artists struggle with greens, to be able to make them look realistic and not garish. This lesson will be mostly about the mixing and combining of colours to produce a range of greens that will look good in paintings. In the end you will have a set of charts which will serve you in all your future paintings.

In this lesson you will learn:

1.  How to mix colours
2. How to choose the colopurs
3.  How to make the charts

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Dennis: Thank you for a very informative class. KathyKuz

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Class Tutorial

Template

Transfer the chart template to watercolour paper.

CAUTION – To keep your mixtures as pure as possible, be sure to clean your brush as you make each mixture.  Also, use only as much water as needed to brush the paint on smoothly.

Chart 1 - Prussian blue with lemon yellow, cadmium yellow and yellow ochre

Squeeze out a bit of Prussian blue and lemon yellow onto your palette.

Label above the first row of your chart with the colours you are using – one on each end.  Do the same for the third and fifth rows.

Paint Prussian blue (PB) as pure as possible onto the first block in each labeled row.  Do the same thing with the lemon yellow (LY) on the opposite side of the row.  Then take a slight bit of PB and mix it into the LY.  Paint that mixture on the left side of the LY square.  Now take a bit more PB and make the LY mix a bit darker and paint it onto the next empty square to the left.

Once you reach the mid-point, you will switch the base colour to the one on the left, then add the lighter colour to it. So, add a bit of LY to the PB to create even deeper tones and fill the chart all the way back to the pure PB.  The colours to the right will give you nice highlights, while the ones to the left will be used for your shadows.

Use the same technique for the next row, only using Prussian Blue (PB) with Cadmium Yellow (CY) this time.

Again, use the same technique for the next row, only using Prussian Blue (PB) with Yellow Ochre (YO) this time.

Chart 2 - Ultramarine blue and lemon yellow, cadmium yellow and yellow ochre

Squeeze out your paints and label your chart in the same manner as you did for Chart I.
44:07    Paint ultramarine blue (UB) as pure as possible onto the first block in each labeled row.  Do the same thing with the lemon yellow (LY) on the opposite side of the row.  Then take a slight bit of UB and mix it into the LY.  Paint that mixture on the left side of the LY square.  Now take a bit more UB and make the LY mix a bit darker and paint it onto the next empty square to the left.

Once you reach the mid-point, you will switch the base colour to the one on the left, then add the lighter colour to it. So, add a bit of LY to the UB to create even deeper tones and fill the chart all the way back to the pure UB.  The colours to the right will give you nice highlights, while the ones to the left will be used for your shadows.

Use the same technique for the next row, only using Ultramarine Blue (UB) with Cadmium Yellow (CY) this time.

Again, use the same technique for the next row, only using Ultramarine Blue (UB) with Yellow Ochre (YO) this time.

Chart 3 - Viridian with cadmium orange and with cadmium red

Squeeze out your paints and label your chart in the same manner as you did for Chart I, only with two rows this time.

Paint Viridian (VR) as pure as possible onto the first block in each labeled row.  Do the same thing with the cadmium orange (CO) on the opposite side of the row.  Then take a slight bit of VR and mix it into the CO.  Paint that mixture on the left side of the CO square.  Now take a bit more VR and make the CO mix a bit darker and paint it onto the next empty square to the left.

Once you reach the mid-point, you will switch the base colour to the one on the left, then add the lighter colour to it. So, add a bit of CO to the VR to create even deeper tones and fill the chart all the way back to the pure VR.

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Use the same technique for the next row, only using Viridian with Light Red this time.

The Chart so far.

Chart 4 - Cerulean blue with lemon yellow, cadmium yellow and yellow ochre

Squeeze out your paints and label your chart in the same manner as you did for Chart I.

Paint Cerulean blue (CRB) as pure as possible onto the first block in each labeled row.  Do the same thing with the lemon yellow (LY) on the opposite side of the row.  Then take a slight bit of CRB and mix it into the LY.  Paint that mixture on the left side of the LY square.  Now take a bit more CRB and make the LY mix a bit darker and paint it onto the next empty square to the left.

Once you reach the mid-point, you will switch the base colour to the one on the left, then add the lighter colour to it. So, add a bit of LY to the CRB to create even deeper tones and fill the chart all the way back to the pure CRB.  The colours to the right will give you nice highlights, while the ones to the left will be used for your shadows.

Use the same technique for the next row, only using Cerulean Blue (CRB) with Cadmium Yellow (CY) this time.

Again, use the same technique for the next row, only using Cerulean Blue (CRB) with Yellow Ochre (YO) this time.

Chart 5 - Cobalt blue with lemon yellow

Squeeze out your paints and label only the top row of your chart in the same manner as you did for Chart I.

Paint Cobalt blue (COB) as pure as possible onto the first block in each labeled row.  Do the same thing with the lemon yellow (LY) on the opposite side of the row.  Then take a slight bit of COB and mix it into the LY.  Paint that mixture on the left side of the LY square.

Now paint down that column with that colour adding more water at each square.  This will give you a tonal range of lighter and lighter values of that colour.

Do the same for the entire row (mixing the colour, then drawing the tonal range down the paper).

Final painting

About Dennis Clark

Dennis has been drawing and painting for most of his life (since 1944) and shortly after that in watercolours. During WWII there were no art books so to speak, so he had to teach himself through experimentation, sweat and tears. He teaches the following mediums online - Watercolours, Pastels, Acrylics, Pencil, Pastels, Pen and Ink and Oils.
Read more about Dennis Clark

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