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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > October 18 > Realistic greens

Realistic greens

If you try to avoid the challenge of mixing your greens you are missing out on some amazing colours for your paintings, says Julie Collins. Her advice and the accompanying exercise will help you to improve your greens


This chart shows eight tube greens in both a dark and pale version so that you can compare their differences. They are presented in order from blue- to yellow-greens

Greens are probably the most challenging colours to mix. It is so easy for green to become thick and dull; this is caused by over mixing your greens. For this very reason, many years ago, I would go to inordinate lengths to avoid using green in my paintings. I began to ‘see’ greens properly about 20 years ago, when I became very excited about green and worked very hard to learn how to mix greens in order to make a very large painting of some green arum lilies. This motivated me to improve my greens and I have never looked back. It is well worth spending time on this subject.

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About The Artist

Welcome to the October issue in which many of our top-class artists celebrate painting in a variety of locations in all kinds of weather, from Pete the Street Brown in Havana, to Geoff Hunt who shows how not to let an unpromising day spoil your painting. Our artist-tutors also offer help and advice on colour mixing in oils, how to improve your compositional awareness, use gouache to paint atmospheric landscapes, create luminosity in your paintings by combining cold wax and water-soluble oils, and develop your skills by working in monochrome. Paul Talbot-Greaves suggests a simple exercise to help you loosen up, Julie Collins shows how to mix the right greens for your watercolour paintings, while Glyn Macey invites you to learn from the painting style of Lamorna Birch by following this month's demonstration. Plus, be inspired as we introduce many of this year's The Artist Open Competition amazingly talented prizewinners!