3.2.2 Exercise: Mixing greens 2
In the exercise above the greens were made using a ready-made green as a starting point. Greens can be mixed from blues and yellows in one of three different ways.
1 Mixing two or more colours together on your palette, 2 Mix on your paper, 3 Layer the colours one over the other. Do all three methods and compare. Draw 2 squares of 3cm each above two rectangles of 10 x 3cm.
Mix one blue and one yellow for each set of boxes. Repeat this exercise for several blue and yellow combinations and try it out with some browns and blues, greens and yellows or any other colours.
This aim of this exercise is to produce a mixed green using all three methods noted above.
The upper square is a palette mixed version of the yellow and blue used. The second square is a paper mixed version of the colours and the two lower rectangles are layered versions using three strengths of overlay colour first with the blue under and then with the blue on top.
The greens produced by layering differ depending upon whether the blue or the yellow is layered on top. The palette mixed green is the most predictable and this colour / hue ca n be adjusted with great finesse to achieve the exact colour desired.
However, the other methods – layering and paper mixing do not produce such controllable colours and to a certain extent can be hit and miss. However, with practise the amounts of blue and yellow and their fluidity can be reproduced to allow for some degree of determining the outcome.
The various strengths of the layered colours produce different versions of green.
The paper mixed versions of the green can produce real gems of colours with subtle mixes of green, yellows and blues achieved and then lost before it settles hopefully to achieve an unrepeatable effect.
This can be very useful an effect if a colour was needed but solidity was not. The subtle nature of this effect produces and green with a veil like texture. If a solid even layer of colour is required then the palette-mixed greens or the layered method should be used.
Depending upon the effect desired the properties of the colour and pigment should be ascertained. It the need is to produce a translucent and bright green then the transparency or not of a colour needs to be determined. A semi-opaque or opaque colour / pigment will not produce a transparent colour.
In the above mix it would be better to use Aureolin or Winsor Lemon rather than Cadmium Yellow for a transparent colour. And if solidity was required to an object then the Cadmium Yellow may prove a better mixing companion.
Another property of the Cadmium can be seen in a couple of the mixes where its tendency to granulate with some colours can be encouraged or avoided if desired and as required.
Some colours mix very readily whilst other need encouragement to mix. This can be seen in the green produced in the second squares of cobalt blue and lemon. This mixes nicely on the paper but cobalt and Naples yellow does not so easily.