Is green paint unnecessary

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In many of my students’ paint boxes, green colors are overrepresented. Personally, I probably have more green colors than others. Still, I almost never use green paint to paint green, preferring to mix my various greens with blues and yellows, usually with a bit of red or brown mixed in.

The yellow and blue color are mixed to the right hue and the red color added to achieve the right degree of darkness or unclearness. These three colors may vary in different paintings but the principle is always the same. Blue and yellow give green color and the red controls how dark the mixture becomes.

Does green color therefore become completely unnecessary in the palette when I don’t use it to paint green with? Why do I have a lot of different green colors when they are rarely used to paint green with.

The green paint can be used for so much more than painting green with, it is a very good color to mix with others to achieve color tones that would otherwise be very difficult to achieve.

Green paint mixed with a suitable red paint produces various gray and black colors. With a violet color you can get a large spectrum of different unclear blue colors. I think these bluish colors, which green and violet deliver, are very beautiful. With a warm yellow, or orange, you mix different unclear yellow colors.

Examples of different blues mixed with Phthalogreen (YS) and Carbazole violet.
Some yellow colors mixed with Phthalogreen (YS) and Permanent Orange (PO62).

So in addition to the obvious, to paint green with a green color, it is possible to mix various completely different colors. All a little unclear but often very beautiful. Everything from nice blue to unclear yellow colors.

A very pure green color mixed with Phthalo Green (YS) plus Nickel Dioxine Yellow.
Various greens mixed with Phthalo Green, Nickel Dioxin Yellow and Quinacridone Rose.

Of course, I also use green paint to paint green, especially when I want a very clean color. For this I almost always use phthalo green yellow shade. Another reason to paint green with green paint is if the color has special properties that cannot be achieved in any other way, such colors can be Viridian, Serpentine Green or Green Earth. Or as a shadow color, suitable colors for such could be Green Earth or Perylene green.

It’s not obvious, but the painting is done with Transparent Pyrrole Orange, Phthalo Green (YS) and Carbasole Violet.
A red onion painted with phthalo green and quinacridone rose.

In order to understand how different greens react to mixing with, for example, violet, you have to experiment. Try different greens along with different violets. Once started though, why not also try green along with some orange, see what can be achieved, you might like the results. That’s how you learn, try different ways and then try to imitate the result in paintings.

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Painted with Ultramarine Violet and Viridian.

In summary, it can be said that green paint is of course used to paint green with. Something that I sometimes do, but not very often. Along with some cool red color, nice gray and black mixes can be achieved.

But you can also use green color to mix with violet for bluish colors and with orange for various yellows or unclear greens, a nice olive green can be made with these. These mixes become unclear but often nice. Unclear or dark green colors such as green earth or Perylene green work well as a shadow color in certain types of motifs.

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This painting is made with Phthalo Green, Quinacridone Rose and Nickel Azo Yellow.

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