3.2.3 Exercises: Mixing greens 3

In this exercise you will be making two simple paintings using a green palette to build up light and shade using two contrasting methods.

  1. By layering the same mixture over itself to build up the tones, (single mix – multiple times)

  2. By placing different strengths of colours next to each other. (multi mixes – single time)

You can explore mixing shades of green by studying glass bottles. Look carefully at the variations in the greens – from their lightest colour to the darkest – in your bottles. Make a quick pencil sketch to get you started.

Painting 1: Single mix – multiple times


Painting 1: Multiple mixes – single times

Having prepared a couple of wine bottles with the assistance of my wife, I then removed the labels to allow the light to fully reflect on and refract through the bottle.  Setting them in front of a window in daylight I did a couple of quick drawings.  There would be two painting one by each of the methods noted above.

3-2-3 02a

Painting 2: Single mix – multiple times

Once the drawings were done I applied some rubber resist to reserve the highlights on the bottles.  On review this may have been an error.

After completing the first two paintings using the two different methods noted in the introduction above I then did another two again of the two bottles utilising the same two procedures.

Above is the first painting completed using the same mx layer upon layer.  This gradually builds up depth of colour and tone as the colour gets darker incrementally.  However, the paint gradually also loses it luminosity as the white of the paper is steadily obscured by more and more layers of paint.

Above left is the first of the second procedure where it is mainly done by laying varying strengths of colour alongside each other.  The tone is not built up gradually but achieved as much as possible in one application of paint.  This is a much fast way of working but the main benefit is that painting retains the luminosity of the white paper showing through the paint layer rather than layers and retains more of a ‘sparkle’ as a result.

On the right is the second of the layered with a single mix and below is the second painting of the multiple mixes method.


Painting 2: Multiple mixes – single times

The setting is the same for each set of paintings and the second attempts were a means to reinforce the methods of working as well as test different ways of application.

The paints used were all transparent pigments as in order to retain the luminosity of the paper as much as possible.

All paints were Winsor and Newton Artists tube paints. The pigments used were:

  • Winsor Green
  • Sap Green
  • Viridian
  • Aureolin

Several lessons were learnt here including to go easy of the rubber resist.