Serpentine green

serpentine green

I had not intended to write about Serpentine green or other colors made from minerals on the blog. Partly because they are unusual and often expensive and in addition there are so few manufacturers of them. But Serpentine green is something as unusual as a yellow-green color, there are no yellow-green pigments among the “regular” colors. There are many different mixtures that are yellow-green but not a really good unmixed color.

Feel free to tell me in the comments section below if watercolor paints of minerals are something you would be interested in reading more about, in which case there are many different fun colors to write about.

The mineral serpentine got its name because it is considered to resemble snake skin. It is actually a whole series of different magnesium-containing silicate minerals that together bear this name. Sometimes the fairly common mineral is used for jewelry or smaller sculptures, but also ground down, as a pigment for color.

The watercolor paint serpentine green is unusual among the various manufacturers, the only one I know of is Daniel Smith. Their Serpentine green comes from the Stichtit variety, which is available in both green and violet. The mineral is sourced in Australia.

The mineral Serpentine
The mineral Serpentine
Tiia Monto | Creative Commons

Like most watercolor paints of minerals, the paint is difficult, heavily granulating and it separates into different colors. Especially if you paint really wet with Serpentine Green, the pigment separates into three different colors: A kind of light olive green, a lighter component that settles on top and is clear green, and a part that is heavy and sinks to the bottom and collects in the paper dimples, this one is brownish. You can clearly see the different parts in the image above or in the smaller image below which describes granulation and hard edge.

serpentine green is Quite a transparent color
Quite a transparent color
An unsuccessful attempt to make serpentine green bloom, some small threads are visible but no blooming.
An unsuccessful attempt to make serpentine green bloom, some small threads are visible but no blooming.
Serpentine green does not float in the water at all
Serpentine green does not float in the water at all
serpentine green is very easy to wash off
It is very easy to wash off
serpentine green Brown spots and a cold green hard edge
Brown spots and a cold green hard edge

Information

  • Pigment: Serpentine
  • lightfastness: Excellent
  • Transparent: Semi-transparent
  • Staining: No, not at all
  • Granulate: Heavily granulating

The color goes very well with spring green light paintings that are not so colorful. The serpentine green appears as something unclear on the painting, a slightly toned-down yellow-green color. It is a very beautiful color that I can recommend to anyone who likes colors with a will of their own. It may be less suitable for those with a distinct need for control, the color does as it pleases.

Serpentine green is a little unclear yellowish green
Serpentine green is a little unclear yellowish green
A painting made with Serpentine green and other colors.
A painting made with Serpentine green and other colors.

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