Today I’m just going to share two paints in my palette. My one green one and my favourite paint colour – light turquoise.
A few comments about green:
- Some artists argue that you shouldn’t have green in your palette as mixed greens (yellow and blue) are so much nicer. I used to hold to this position, but for the last 8 years or so, I’ve included a green for convenience – especially when I’m working fast. I just don’t always want to mix a green.
- As mentioned in my first article in this series because of this fast sketching, I want to be able to use my colours in their pure form. So I want a green that is okay to use on it’s own – a reasonably natural looking mid-green that is easy to modify to a lighter or darker version.
- Keeping my yellow clean was another part of the reason for having a dedicated green, but as I now split my yellow (see the yellow section for more about that) this is no longer as relevant and it’s easy to mix a nice green with Hansa Yellow Medium and French Ultramarine. So I am finding that I’m using Sap Green less these days.
- I’m not 100% convinced that Daniel Smith Sap Green is the best option but it’s the best I’ve found to date. The hue is okay (tube greens always seem to be a little artificial looking) but my major frustration with this paint is its dispersiveness caused by the PY150. Exploding sap green is sometimes nice, but often I have to carefully choose the order of my washes to avoid murky results (ie. when painting red flowers, I will paint the green leaves first as sap green going into the red isn’t pretty). So I’m open to new options.
- I enjoyed using Aquarius Hooker’s Green last year (I found it a good substitute for DS Sap Green) but it’s only available in a full pan, and I only ever have a half-pan of green in my palette.
- I know that Pthalo Green is a good green mixer, but as mentioned above, it will not become part of my sketching kit because I can’t use it on its own and find that it’s too strongly staining. I have experimented with using it in a pre-mix but never fully tested that.
As for turquoise…
- It’s my favourite colour and I love the creamy opaque quality of the Winsor Newton version.
- Last year I explored DS Cobalt Teal Blue and some other turquoise pigments but came back to WN CTL! See here and here.
Sap Green (Daniel Smith)
Cobalt Turquoise Light (Winsor & Newton)
Full Palette – Further Reading
Just for reference… here is my complete palette with the abbreviations I use for the other colours.
- The general principles behind my palette selection
- All my palette articles
- My SketchingNow Watercolour course – Learn how to increase your control of water, how to decide when to layer/glaze and when to work wet-in-wet, how to create vibrant colours with a limited palette, how to be more confident with your use of colour and much more! I also recently added a bonus lesson into the classroom all about pigment characteristics and how to practically get to know your paints better.
So what greens do you have in your palette? and why are they there?
Thank you in advance to anyone who takes to the time to share in the comment section – it really makes this article more valuable for other readers. Plus I always LOVE reading about other people’s WHY’s