How I mix my greens for evergreen trees

I am occasionally asked, and I have asked, from other forums and blogs how to paint greens.

This is how I  paint my evergreen trees. That is about all I have to paint in plein air within a 50 plus mile radius of my home base. So I have painted a few.

Well here is my family secret formula and why it works.

The base color is just Ultramarine Blue and Grumbacher Raw Sienna. Since UB is a reddish blue and RS is a reddish yellow there is enough red in the mix to gray the green and close enough to be opposites on the color wheel. The color temperature can be warmer or cooler by adding more or less of one of the base colors. For a value change a warm or cool mixed gray is good but a 7 - 8 value mix of Ivory black, titanium white  and a touch of RS is the easiest for me.

Since color harmony and mood within each painting is what we strive for, each color for the light on the trees will vary.  For a given mood I will use a wide range of colors anywhere  from  a Lemon Yellow , Cad Yellows, yellow oranges to an ochre and Naples to achieve my end result.  Many alterations of this base green can be mixed for your evergreen trees.

Hope you find this helpful while creating your masterpiece.



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Comment by Jim Moyer on May 24, 2012 at 23:49

Sounds fun Ann. What black are you using and the brand name. Like raw sienna, I find blacks vary considerably from manufactures. 

Enjoy class,


Comment by Ann Turner on May 24, 2012 at 11:33

Thank you Jim for the information. I teach a small class of friends and we have been doing color charts for different bases as a start. My favorite base green now is black+cad yellow med. I would like to try your mix to see if I like it better. I also like sap green,burnt sienna and diox purple for a base green. I'll let you know what the ladies like. Happy painting to you


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