Maybe It IS Easy Being Green (or at least painting it)

By Catherine Hillis

How many times have we heard it: “Green is hard.” Actually, I don’t believe green is the problem but that a lack of observation is, along with a hastiness to paint greens straight from a tube instead of mixing them to match what is actually seen in nature. Of course, the best way to do that is by painting from nature itself. But here’s an exercise you can try right now to help you see the variety of greens possible.

Matching Nature’s Greens

In the photo below, you can see that permanent green and viridian green straight from the tube have no place in the natural landscape. Instead, I chose just one (permanent green) and mixed it with a variety of other colors to create a full range of natural greens that are true to the landscape.

Experiment to find even more possibilities for yourself. You’ll find you can make an infinite number of colors from one tube of green by mixing it with two or three colors from your collection of paints.

Step-by-Step Watercolor Tutorial: A Landscape Comes Together

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4
Final Step

Previous articleLook Beyond the Surface of Your Subject
Next articleCompleting the Circle
Kelly Kane
PleinAir Magazine and American Watercolor Weekly Editor-in-Chief With more than 20 years experience in art publishing, Kelly Kane has served previously as Editor-in-Chief of Watercolor Artist magazine and Content Director for The Artist’s Magazine, Drawing, Acrylic Artist, and Pastel Journal. She has interviewed many of the preeminent artists of our time and written numerous articles about painting, drawing, art education and art history. She is now the Editor-in-Chief of PleinAir Magazine and the American Watercolor Weekly newsletter. Click here to send her an email.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here