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It's Not Easy Being Green

Are greens really the most difficult hue to handle on your palette? With the following tips, you can produce better greens that are more natural looking and realistic.

Greens right out of the tube will look unnatural, harsh and will need to be neutralized a bit. You can bring down the chroma (saturation) of your green by adding its complement which is red or any reddish tone and in the process make it look more like what is in nature. This can also be accomplished by adding black which does not alter the color but only brings down its brightness (chroma).

When mixing greens with any combination of a blue and a yellow that you might have on your palette, you must neutralize the hue to bring down the saturation. The same applies when you are using hues directly from your tubes such as Phthalo Green, Viridian Green, Sap Green, Hookers Green, Chromium ofOxide or any paint that is labeled “green".

You can neutralize greens by adding any red (eg.: Cadmium Red, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna or other reds) that you might have on your palette. By doing so, you will automatically neutralize your hue and bring it closer to the “olive notes” that you see in nature.


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