Color Chart – Greens

When I took Clayton Beck’s workshop at Palette and Chisel in January, one of the exercises Clayton strongly recommended was to complete color charts. Ever since then, it has been on my to-do list. Clayton has a detailed instructional on executing a color chart on his web site.

I had planned to follow Clayton’s procedure and make a full set of color charts. But, I just didn’t get the time. With small ones, it’s hard to get large chunks of uninterrupted time, which is what I needed to do the color chart.

In the meantime, I kept struggling to make the greens I saw before me in plein air painting sessions. Then, it occurred to me: Clayton does figure paintings. I do landscapes. I needed to think of a way to do a color chart that meant something to me, that I could apply directly to my process. A color chart that would help me grow as an artist.

With a trip to Michigan on the horizon, I designed a color chart to experiment with different ways to make greens with the paint colors I have. As it turns out, the results were very helpful. I found a variety of ways to make greens using just two colors. I also ended up with lovely, rich colors perfectly suited for tree trunks, rocks, water, and even some for certain types of skies.

Greens Color Chart, 2013

Greens Color Chart, 2013

Along the left hand side I’ve written the yellow hues I used. If I did it again, I might paint a swatch of pure color along the side and top for each hue. On the left side, top to bottom, I used cadmium orange, cadmium yellow medium, cadmium yellow light, yellow ochre, and naples yellow.

Along the top: ultramarine blue deep, cobalt blue deep, cobalt blue light, cerulean, viridian, sap green, and ivory black. My pigments are either Talens Rembrandt or Winsor & Newton artist’s pigments – if you would like to know which hue specifically, please let me know, I would be happy to share.

In my next posts, I will share the paintings I made in Michigan.


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