Thursday, 20 August 2015

1 - Mixing with Phthalo Green (Blue Shade)


Part 1 of a series I'll do on mixing with my Ultimate Mixing Palette colours. 

To see the mixing range this palette can create, you can see the various versions of my book here and look at the previews.


Phthalo Green comes in Blue Shade and Yellow Shade. The blue shade is made with PG7 and is also called Winsor Green BS, Helio Green, Blockx green and so on. Its full name is phthalocyanine green and is a reliable lightfast, staining, transparent and very powerful colour. The yellow shade is made with PG36 and is, not surprisingly, more of a yellow-green. I prefer the blue shade.

I don't use Phthalo Green alone, and suggest you very rarely would as it simply doesn't look realistic, but I find it invaluable in my palette for mixing. Add a cool or mid yellow for bright spring-greens, add a warm yellow for wonderful Sap greens. Add a crimson for the most amazing range of plum, aubergine, deep green and black hues. Add burnt sienna for pine greens. Add a blue for turquoise hues. While some of these colours could be created using Phthalo Blue + a yellow and then mixing with the third colour, most people struggle with 3-colour mixes so having a green in the palette speeds up the mixing process and simplifies it to just a 2-colour process.

Here is a chart showing how it mixes with 12 of my Ultimate Mixing Palette colours to create bright spring greens, lovely sap greens, deep shadow greens, turquoise hues, and earthy greens. With Burnt Sienna and Indian Red it creates yet more pine greens and deep greens. The biggest surprise is the purples it makes with Quinacridone Rose and of course the wonderful black it makes with its opposite, Pyrrol Crimson. All colours shown are Daniel Smith.

Daniel Smith Phthalo Green BS mixed with 12 of my Ultimate Mixing Palette colours.

If you don't like the staining, non-granulating nature of this pigment, another option is Viridian, made with PG18, as seen on the left in this Da Vinci sample. This isn't as powerful, but is liftable and granulating. It varies considerably from different manufacturers, some of whom add PG7 to the mix.                   Another interesting option is the gorgeous Daniel Smith primatek Jadeite Genuine which is similar in hue though in masstone it is a very deep granulating colour. I love the special effects that this pigment creates, though in my regular palette I like the predictability of Phthalo Green BS (Daniel Smith). To see these painted out with other palette colours, see my post here.