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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > Sep-17 > How to keep your greens clean

How to keep your greens clean

Catherine Strong shows you how to mix greens in acrylics and oils for a vibrant painting of summer flowers

Catherine Strong

has exhibited widely. She demonstrates regularly to art groups in the south west of England and her work can be seen at Hadfield Fine Art and Sarah Sclater Art at home.

Green is everywhere. It is the most common colour in the natural world, and second only to blue as a favourite colour. Many artists are nervous of using it, however, and for good reason – unless handled skilfully, it is easy to end up with a mud-coloured mess! If you are new to, or nervous of, painting green then I recommend starting with a restricted range of greens that work well together. With experience, it can be very satisfying to mix your own greens from blues and yellows, but it is easier to begin painting greens using a ready-mixed hue such as phthalocyanine green (acrylics) or viridian green (oils) – the equivalent colour in the two different media. By mixing tones of two or three hues of green it is possible to keep control of your greens, even when painting wetinto- wet: these blend and work well together, and do not have a tendency to produce mud!

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About The Artist

Welcome to an inspiration-packed issue with great demonstrations to follow in all media to help practise and develop your skills, from Paul Riley's focus on how to depict glass and reflections in watercolour, Chris Forsey's mixed-media demonstration of a light-filled Australian coastal scene to Rob Wareing's feature on painting skin tones and portraits in oils. With an insight into up-and-coming Richard Burger's approach to portraiture and Richard Pikesley's use of studio objects as tabletop still lifes, we also step into the shoes of professional artists to see what motivates them and how they approach their work. Young artist Marie Antoniou urges you to express yourself in acrylics with just one brush, Robert Dutton explains the rules of perspective while Paul Talbot-Greaves shows how to achieve depth in landscape compositions, Barry Herniman paints boats and harbours, and Liz Seward suggests the perfect antidote to painter's block by turning to collage. For help with colour mixing, Julie Collins turns our attention to the variety of whites available, and Catherine Strong tells us how to keep our greens clean and vibrant. Enjoy the issue and email your feedback and comments to us at We love to hear from you!