Viridian Color

Viridian Color – Creating and Using a Viridian Color Palette

Viridian proved to be a very appealing color for artists in the early days, as there was a very limited option for green pigments. Emerald green was one of the alternatives for green pigments, however, it was a very dangerous and often deadly substance, as it contained a large amount of arsenic in its makeup. Therefore, viridian, being non-toxic, proved to be the answer. Let us learn more about the viridian color!



What Color Is Viridian? 

Viridian stems from the Latin term viridis, meaning fresh, green, and youthful. The color is a dark blue-green pigment that is more subtle than emerald-green, with undertones that attract the attention of its onlookers with its jewel tones. The color is a perfect shade of spring green, which means it is positioned between green as well as teal when looking at the color wheel. Viridian contains more of a green than a blue hue.

Viridian Color Examples

Viridian is a hydrated chromium oxide pigment that has an intense green color with a bluish tint and contains water molecules when it is in its crystal form. Unlike chromium oxide, which does not contain water in its crystal form. Both pigment variants are chemically stable as well as resistant to boiling alkalis and acids, which is one of their most important advantages, as well as being compatible with any other type of pigment.  The viridian web color below can be described as a dark to moderate cyan or lime green.

Shade Hex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color Code Color
Viridian#40826d51, 0, 16, 4964, 130, 109 



Viridian Color: A Brief History  

In the early 19th century, emerald green, also referred to as Paris Green, became very popular due to its high capacity and brilliant color. However, it was very dangerous to use due to its high content of arsenic, which caused many artists to refrain from using it.

Viridian color pigments first emerged in the first part of the nineteenth century, together with other pigments like cadmium yellow and cobalt blue. Chromium, which is a key component of viridian, was only discovered in 1797, but viridian was first formulated in 1838 by a Frenchman, Pannetier together with his assistant Binet in Paris.

Viridian soon became very popular in the art world because of its brightness, stability, and lightfastness. Painters loved to use it for blending with other pigments like ultramarine blue and cadmium yellow.

Unfortunately, the viridian color produced by Pannetier, also known as Pannetier’s green, was a hundred times more expensive than any of the other pigments available, making it impossible for it to be properly marketed. Twenty years later, in 1859, a French chemist by the name of Guignet, patented a green pigment, also known as Guignet’s green, which was now affordable and became a popular choice by artists and impressionists. A famous artist that made use of viridian green in his paintings was Pierre-Auguste Renoir. In his painting, The Skiff (1879), he depicts two women in a rowing boat, fashionably dressed and floating on a glittering pool of water.

Viridian Color History The Skiff (1879) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir; Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

With the woman’s impractical dress for a rowing activity, the scene portrays a sense of tranquility and security. Renoir made use of viridian green mixed with chrome yellow, as well as lead white for the green, showing the rushes in the foreground.


Viridian Color Meaning  

All colors have meaning, so how do you explain the viridian color meaning? Viridian is a symbol of nature, or the natural world, and represents tranquility, health, and good luck, but also speaks of jealousy. It is also a color for fertility, which made green the main choice for wedding gowns in the 15th century. 

Viridian color or green is also thought to have healing powers, and many employees working in a green environment seem to have less pain and illnesses. Green is also thought to be a great contributor to relieving stress. This color also has calming effects, which is why guests that are waiting to appear on a television program are often seated in a green room to help them relax.  

Many researchers have discovered that the viridian color or green can improve the student’s reading ability and placing a green transparent sheet over their reading material can help them with their comprehension and reading speed.

On the cultural side, the viridian color or green is strongly associated with the country of Ireland and is also coupled or connected with Islam. Due to this color being associated with nature, it is a significant color for spring, and is linked with red as it is a perfect color for Christmas. 



Shades of Viridian Color 

Viridian is an intense green pigment that has a bluish hue. However, there is an impressive variety of natural greens, which makes viridian a very versatile choice for many artists. Let us now consider some different available shades of viridian.

Viridian Color Meaning


Veronese Green   

This shade of viridian green has a darker tinge to it and is significantly more blue than green. The formulation of the shade is a mixture of luminous pigments that was produced by a Venetian Renaissance painter named Paolo Veronese (1528 to 1588) and was commercialized under his name. The paint is non-toxic and is very popular and used extensively by many artists and painters. 

In the table below we show you the Viridian color code and hex codes as well as the Paolo Veronese green hex codes.

Shade Hex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Viridian#40826d51, 0, 16, 4964, 130, 109 
Veronese Green#009b7d100, 0, 19, 390, 155, 125 


Generic Viridian

Generic Viridian is a cool color, primarily from the green color family, and is a mixture of cyan and green.  When Generic viridian green is used in the media, people may associate it with elegance, simplicity, or travel.  In the table below we show you both the Generic and Viridian color codes and hex codes.

Shade Hex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Viridian#40826d51, 0, 16, 4964, 130, 109 
Generic Viridian#007f66100, 0, 20, 500, 127, 102 

Shades of Viridian Green Color


Spanish Viridian

Spanish viridian consists mainly of green and is also described as a very dark gray color, and is very similar to Generic viridian. It is very dominant in the fashion industry, with nail polish of this color, and in the art world, as well as for décor at home or in the office.

Shade Hex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Viridian#40826d51, 0, 16, 4964, 130, 109 
Spanish Viridian#007f5c100, 0, 28, 500, 127, 92 



What Colors Go With Viridian Green?  

Viridian green combined with blue is excellent for use in nature scenes like forests, and water and can represent new beginnings combined with black, yellow, and white. This combination can provide a sporty or outdoor feeling. When combined with brown, gray, purple, or lavender, it gives a retro or conservative look.

Viridian Color Palette

The strong color of viridian can be softened slightly by combining it with cream colors or stainless steel by choosing viridian-colored kitchen cupboards with cream countertops and stainless-steel fixtures, this will brighten your room considerably. By combining it with various shades of blue you can make any space or room feel more refined. To elaborate more on the colors that go well with viridian green let us consider the following combinations.


Viridian Complementary Colors  

A contrasting or complementary color means that one color is found directly opposite to the main color on the color wheel. When mixing pigments, both colors seem to cancel each other out, which produces a muddy, brownish grayscale color. When viewed together, they create contrast. The contrasting or complementary color for viridian green is puce. People have often mistaken puce for a viridian green, but it is a mixture of purple and brown and is very close to burnt sienna. It is also a great neutral color used very often in home décor. 

This viridian color palette has many advantages for you.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Viridian#40826d51, 0, 16, 4964, 130, 109 
Puce#bf7d920, 35, 24, 25191, 125, 146 


Viridian Analogous Colors 

An analogous color scheme is a batch of three or more colors that are found right next to each other on the color wheel. They contain the main color and two other supporting colors, which appear on either side of it. This form of analogous color scheme is pleasant and often used when decorating the office or your home. The analogous colors for viridian green are dark green and dark cyan.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Viridian#40826d51, 0, 16, 4964, 130, 109 
Dark Green#55824035, 0, 51, 4985, 130, 64 
Dark Cyan#40768251, 9, 0, 4964, 118, 130 

Shades of Viridian Color


Viridian Monochromatic Colors  

When you develop a viridian color palette, a monochromatic color is the easiest option. Simply take one color like viridian and use variations of tones, shades, and tints. This gives you a delicate and easy-to-achieve color combination that you can use with any project and leaves you with a harmonious and appealing look. 

Two of the monochromatic colors for viridian green are lime green and very dark cyan.   

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Viridian#40826d51, 0, 16, 4964, 130, 109 
Lime Green#92c9b827, 0, 8, 21146, 201, 184 
Very Dark Cyan#2f605051, 0, 17, 6247, 96, 80 


Viridian Triadic Colors 

Triadic color schemes contain three colors that are spaced equally on the color wheel, forming a triangle that contains the main color with two other colors that can be used as accent colors. The triadic color scheme gives vibrant and lively colors when combined. The triadic colors for viridian green are dark violet and dark orange. 

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Viridian#40826d51, 0, 16, 4964, 130, 109 
Dark Violet#6d408216, 51, 0, 49109, 64, 130 
Dark Orange#826d400, 16, 51, 49130, 109, 64 

What Color Is Viridian



How to Mix Viridian Green Acrylic Paint

The viridian green color is a semi-transparent dark, cool green hue that is perfect to use when painting seascapes or foliage. It is also a wonderful color and very useful to have as part of your paint supply.  Mix viridian green with yellow and you can create bright autumn greens. You can also produce great results when mixing with reds, grays, teals, blues, and blacks. 

Mixing viridian tints by adding white makes amazing cool green grays, and because of its transparency, it is an ideal color to use for glazing.  


Mixing Viridian Green Colors

Green is a secondary color, which is achieved by mixing yellow and blue. However, there are different types of paints available, some being warm and others cold. This is known as a color bias and is where some knowledge of color theory helps a lot. Viridian green is a dark and cool green.

By using a cool color like lemon yellow and mixing it with another cool color like phthalo blue, you will be able to make amazing green cool colors. Phthalo blue is a much stronger color than lemon yellow, so you need to take small amounts each time and mix it with yellow to see how many different shades of green you can create. This means creating a color chart as you experiment.

Viridian Green Color

You can also experiment with warm yellow and blue, such as cadmium yellow or ultramarine blue. However, these pigments can contain hints of red, so by mixing these colors you have all three of the primary colors present, which will create a dull green color. If you want to have a little fun when mixing your greens, take a leaf from the garden and see if you can match the color, and by picking several different leaves, you will soon find out that there is a large amount of different green colors in nature.



The Viridian Green Color and Interior Design

Viridian green is a color that has become popular in the fashion industry and is used for men’s as well as women’s clothing items. Items of clothing that are readily available on the market are dresses, suits, T-Shirts, and many others.

However, the viridian green color is amazing when using it for home décor, as it will complement any room that has mainly natural wood, beige, or gray colors.

You will also find that many pillows, blankets, rugs, and curtains can all be obtained in a viridian hue, which makes it easy to add it as an accent color. So, it is not necessary to stick to paint when introducing viridian green into your home décor, as curtains, rugs, couches, or armchairs can add viridian color to a space. Viridian green tends to put some homeowners off as it is a very dark color, making your room look a lot smaller than it is. However, you can easily use it for larger rooms in the home with great success.

Viridian Color Code


Viridian green is a dark shade of green that can be very effective when used in fashion and home décor, and is brilliant to have in a color palette for artwork. There is also no end to the various shades of viridian green that you can create and use. So, next time you feel the need for green, choose viridian and see what amazing things you can create!




Frequently Asked Questions 


What Color Is Viridian? 

Viridian is a dark blue-green hue, with the color being greener and containing less blue. You can also find the viridian hue on the color wheel, situated between green and teal.


Is Viridian Green and Phthalo Green Similar? 

Phthalo green and viridian green are similar colors, however, viridian has a much duller tone and is not as strong as Phthalo green. For this reason, many people shy away from using viridian green, but mixing it with other colors can make viridian green a very exciting color.


Is Viridian Green a Cool or Warm Color? 

Viridian is referred to as a cool bluish-green color. The best cool blue to use for creating viridian is Phthalo blue. By mixing it with lemon yellow, which is also a cool shade, you can create a nice cool viridian green color.


Cite this Article

Charlene, Lewis, “Viridian Color – Creating and Using a Viridian Color Palette.” Art in Context. February 28, 2023. URL:

Lewis, C. (2023, 28 February). Viridian Color – Creating and Using a Viridian Color Palette. Art in Context.

Lewis, Charlene. “Viridian Color – Creating and Using a Viridian Color Palette.” Art in Context, February 28, 2023.

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  1. Thank you for this well thought out article. I have been trying to obtain information why acrylic paint no longer includes viridian for sale. oil and watercolor paints still sell it. Viridian Hue Permanent is readily available but that is not PG13. Your information about Phthalocyanine Green Yellow Shade, PG36, is now offered which supposedly makes a wonderful Veridian lookalike. I enjoyed reading the history of this beautiful color.

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