Happy St Patrick’s Day! The Secret to Painting Green ☘️

Happy St. Patrick’s Day Friends!  About this time every year, I welcome a little green in my world.  After a long winter, it’s wonderful to see the buds on the trees and bits of brighter green colors in the landscape.  This weekend, I even have a hankering for a pint of beer (in honor of St. Paddy of course!) When it comes to painting green most of my students know, I’m usually not an advocate of using premixed Green colored paint.  Why?  The problem with bottled greens is that they can look garish and create an artificial feeling in your work.

We often want natural and beautiful greens when painting landscapes, and there’s a secret to achieving them ( a leprechaun shared it with me ?!  When reaching for a green in your palette, keep this painting in green secret in mind…

Always mix Green paint with another color when using it.

  • Mix tube greens with something else before bringing them to your painting, e.g. Add the extra color in your mixing tray
  • Let another color mingle with it on the wet surface of your painting.

This is the short and sweet secret to using green!  Use green paints this way, and they will never scream at the viewer, and potentially take away from your work.

Here’s a little idea that I find is a great tool for a shortcut to the flavor of green I’d like to achieve.  Given the time of the year, I thought I’d share this handy-dandy chart of the green tubes of color I have in my stash.

In both of these charts, the stem colors are straight from the tube.  Above: Shamrock Bottom left leaves: tube color + Quinacridone Gold. Top left: tube color + Winsor Yellow, Top right: tube color + New Gamboge. Bottom Right: Tube color plus Antwerp Blue

Pictured above: Tube green colors (Clockwise from Upper Left): American Journey Mint Julep, Daniel Smith Undersea Green, DS Lunar Black, Phthalo Green, Holbein Leaf Green, American Journey Hooker’s Green Light

You maybe wondering why I chose to put black on a page with bottled greens. Black mixed with yellow is frequently a means of achieving an interesting green color, especially in the acrylic and oil painting world. Daniel Smith’s Lunar Black is one of my favorite Black paints… It’s granulation allows the colors it mixes with to shine through.

In this charts, the stem colors are BLUES straight from the tube.  Above: Shamrock Bottom left leaves: tube color + Quinacridone Gold. Top left: tube color + Winsor Yellow, Top right: tube color + New Gamboge. Bottom Right: Tube color plus a tube green.
Tube Colors Clockwise from Top Left (color in bottom right corner leaf) : Holbein Cobalt Blue (Phthalo Gr), M Graham Cerulean (Phthalo Gr), WN Antwerp Blue (Holbein Leaf Green) ,Daniel Smith Cobalt Teal (Antwerp Blue), WN Indigo (Leaf Green), DS Fr Ultramarine (Hooker’s Green Lt)

I apply them straight from the tube in the stem of my shamrock and then added Winsor yellow, new gamboge, quinacridone gold, and antwerp blue or some other color to each of the leaves of the shamrock.  You may want to try it yourself when painting in green!  They’re all so pretty, it’s hard to pick a favorite.

The beauty is that I don’t have to choose a favorite.  They are all available to me anytime I want to mix them.  I have this chart in my sketchbook from Ireland.  When I go back, I plan to take it with me again and use it as reference while I fill even more pages with watercolors of all the beauty to be found there…

If you’re like me and have a hidden bit of Irish that bubbles to the surface periodically, maybe you should think about joining me in Ireland next year!  It’s a beautiful and friendly place to visit, with lots of do and plenty to see.  Those of you who like to paint can bring your sketchbooks and we will have some fun recording our journeys with watercolors as we go.  The art will be a supplement for those who are interested, but it will not be the primary focus of our trip.  FUN will be our focus!


My trip to IRELAND South is happening  May 13-24, 2018.

I’ll be leading a tour of Ireland South…my favorite places in the southern half of the Emerald Isle, including Dublin, Cork, Killarney, Galway, Adare, the Dingle Peninsula, and more!  Here’s more information on this fun get away…https://rebeccazartist.com/tour-ireland-south-wrebecca-513-24-2018/

Registration is currently ongoing and beginning to fill.  I will limit the size of this group, so if you’re interested, I encourage you to contact me or our travel agent Marianne Levenson (843-916-7108) to reserve your spot on this trip today!

I hope today’s blog helps spark some experimentation and gets you painting some lovely and luminous green hues in your next painting.

Share Love ? Spread Light ☀️ Do Art ? Give Back ?

Muckross House Ring of Kerry Killarney


Author Rebecca Zdybel

Artist, Instructor, Art-Travel Instructor - Spread Light, Share Love, DO Art! Rebecca Z Artist (Rebecca Zdybel) is an artist and instructor in Myrtle Beach, SC. She blogs and teaches locally and internationally. Sign up for her blog, classes, workshops, art travel tours, or see her work at RebeccaZArtist.com.

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