Terre Verte (Green Earth) PG23

Real Terre Verte is not so easy to use, it can not be mixed with other colors if you want a reasonably pure color as a result. It granulates heavily and is weak, in a color mixture you have to have double the amount of Terre Verte compared to other pigments to achieve balance. But it is so beautiful that this negative is outweighed by it. Mix with ultramarine violet for a beautiful gray color. Or use as it is for e.g. shadows.

Although the pigment is common in nature, it is quite often replaced with other pigments, some manufacturers do not think that genuine pigment are good enough, but mix in some other pigments to make it “better”

In real Terre Verte, the pigment is from various silicates and oxides of iron, aluminum, magnesium, etc, minerals such as glauconite, celadonite. The origin varies: Bohemia, Cyprus and other places. A natural pigment with great variety.

It is a classic pigment that has been used at least since Roman times.

Some examples of colors with real Terre Verte:

Rembrandt: Green Earth
Daniel Smith: Rare Green Earth
Blockx: Terre Verte
Winsor & Newton: Terre Verte (yellow shade)
Old Holland: Green Earth

Some examples of “Improved” pigment:

Winsor & Newton: Terre Verte (Terre Verte PG23 + Viridian PG18 +  Cobalt blue PB28)
MaimeriBlu: Terre Verte (Terre Verte PG23 + chromium oxide green PG17)
Holbein: Terre Verte (Terre Verte PG23 + chromium oxide green PG17)

Some examples of Terre Verte that do not contain any real Terre Verte:

Daniel Smith: (Viridian PG18 + Burnt sienna PBr7)
Schmincke:  Green Earth  (Burnt sienna PBr7 + Phthal green PG7)
Sennelier: Green Earth  (Burnt sienna PBr7)
Daler-Rowney (Viridian PG18 + Yellow ocher PY42 + Iron oxide black PBk11)

The real Terre Verte is a little difficult to paint with, the lumpy and are unruly. the fake colors are easier to master.

Terre Verte is unclear and granulating
Terre Verte is unclear and granulating
The color is transparent
The color is transparent
It lifts with a soft edge from the paper
It lifts with a soft edge from the paper


A weak pigment
It is Transparent
Like most natural pigments, the color is not staining
Quite a lot of granuleraring
Hard to mix with other colors, but is nice as it is.
Semi-cheap color.
The paint is so unclear that it is mix to a neutral color in with red any, see below.

Mixed with Quinacridone Rose
Mixed with Quinacridone Rose
Look at such a beautiful gray color that is achieved by mixing with a purple (ultramarine violet)
Look at such a beautiful gray color that is achieved by mixing with a purple (ultramarine violet)


  • Color index name: PG23
  • Lightfastness: Excellent
  • Transparency: Yes
  • Staining: No not at all
  • Granulates: Quite a lot

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3 years ago

Lovely color

2 years ago

Interesting…I had never heard of this color. I’m wondering if it’s similar to Daniel Smith’s Cascade Green?

Reply to  Debra
11 months ago

It’s nothing like Cascade green. Cascade green is made of Raw Sienna and pthalo blue. It is a green that is bright and deep somewhat toward pthalo blue green shade. As it dries it separates into pthalo blue, yellowish and the green. It’s interesting for deep forests. I’m still learning the best way to use it.

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