Get to Know your Colors: Green

Hey guys, so continuing in this little series, the next up is green!  Green is such a fresh and livly colour, let’s get into it!

The Color Green

Green is the colour of growth, and of rebirth (think about how happy we always are in the spring to see the new green plants popping up!).  Green is a natural nurturing colour, and relates directly to the earth (this is why we say someone has a green thumb when they’re good at gardening!)

Color Wheel Location

Green is a secondary colour, and sits right between the two colours that make it: yellow and blue. To the left of green is the warmer yellow-green, associated with lush plant life and vibrant warm gardens, to the right of green is blue-green, very cool turquoise,aqua,teal mixtures that belong in the sea.

Mixing Green

Obviously mixing any yellow with blue will get you a green, but there are so many variations of green, and they all have their own purposes.  The super bright warm greens that come from Cadmium Yellow and Cerulean blue are incredibly vibrant, giving whatever you’re painting the look that it is being kissed by intense sunlight.  On the other hand, the super cool greens that result from Hansa Yellow and Pthalo Blue (Green) give a deep, intense blue-green colour.

Of course, green can also be purchased from a tube pf paint, and many variations exist there as well.  Chromium Oxide Green is a lovely opaque neutral-warm green that can be made even brighter by mixing with a bright yellow like Cadmium Yellow Light, or darkened and dulled slightly by using something like Yellow Ochre.  Oh the other hand, Pthalo Green (Blue Shade) is a transparent, incredibly vibrant cool green that is best used either in shadows or mixed in with blues to create ocean colours.

Greens can even be made from other colours like Yellow Ochre and Payne’s Grey (more on that in this post).  Subdued, almost muddy, greens that result from something like this are needed for realistic-looking landscapes, as the vibrant pure greens look artificial in these situations.

The Psychology of Green

Green is the observant, nurturing colour.  It’s suited to parents, teachers, social workers, gardeners, pet owners, and anyone else that likes to care for a nurture another living thing.  It promotes a love for family, friends, pets, and all other forms of life.  Green also has a strong sense of what’s right and what’s wrong, and always chooses the moral side of a dilemma.

Green is also the colour of prosperity (why we say making the green when referring to money…even if you live in Canada like me and your money is multi-coloured!).

Using green in your works and in your home promotes harmony, practicality, rejuvenation and compassion.  On the down side, however, too much green can make one feel possessive,greedy, judgmental, and envious (remember the phrase green with envy!).

The key to using green is to only use the vibrant greens where you want/need them, and reach for a more subdued green for other areas of your home or painting.  Toned down greens provide balance and harmony to a work of art, while too many vibrant greens in the wrong places can make the viewer themselves feel unbalanced.

Further Reading

If you’d like to read more about green, you can check out these other blog posts that relate to green:

How to Mix Green

Colour Psychology

Colour Theory

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