Are you beginning to explore color mixing? One of the first important aspects of this journey is to know how to mix your colors properly. With this in mind, the color green is one of the most complex colors to create, and there are plenty of variations to consider. You may think mixing green is a simple process, you take some yellow and mix it with some blue and you have green. However, in reality, it is not so easy. In this article, we will be showing you, in detail, the whole process of what colors make green and the various shades and tints.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Two Colors Make Green?
- 2 Examining the Color Bias
- 3 Softening Bright Green Colors with Complementary Colors
- 4 Regulating the Temperature of Your Green
- 5 Making Cooler Shades of Green
- 6 Making Warmer Shades of Green
- 7 Shading and Tinting: How to Create Different Levels of Green?
- 8 Scientific Chart for Mixing Various Shades of Green
- 9 Frequently Asked Questions
What Two Colors Make Green?
Before we start mixing our colors, there might be a few questions on your mind. Maybe you would like to know how to make neon green paint or what colors make lime green paint? However, we should begin with the basics and learn what two colors make green paint?
So, what colors can we use to make green paint? The simple answer is to mix the primary colors blue with yellow, which then produces the secondary color of green. If you are doing this for the first time, then you will find it helpful to refer to a mixing or color chart. The chart will show you that when you mix a color with the color on the opposite side of the chart, you will create the color that lies between them.
Is that all that you need to do to create green? Well, not if you want a specific color green, you need to ask yourself what shade of green do you need. If you consider the colors blue and yellow that make green, you will discover that they both consist of many different shades. So, depending on what shade of blue and yellow you choose, you will be able to create a vast number of different shades of green.
Take, for example, cadmium yellow that tends to lean towards red or a warmer color, whereas cadmium lemon leans more towards the cooler color of blue. When looking at the blue spectrum, for example, ultramarine blue tends to lean towards red tones, but manganese blue tends to lean more towards yellow tones.
Examining the Color Bias
The above-mentioned trend or fact of mixing different shades of colors is referred to as a color bias, and you need to understand this as it will influence how you mix colors and will determine how accurate you can get to a specific color hue.
When Mixing Cool Primary Colors with Warm Colors
The art of mixing colors is, therefore, not as simple as just blending your primary colors. If you were to take stock of all the different shades of blue and yellow, you would be surprised at how many different shades of each color you can get. We know that by taking yellow and mixing it with blue we create green, but we now need to consider what shade of green we want to create.
A vibrant secondary green color can be created by mixing both the blue and yellow primary colors. If you take all three primary colors and mix them, you will end up with a secondary color that is slightly muddy and resembles more of a brown. This can be seen when you mix blue that has a warmer hue with yellow that also contains red, you will then accidentally be mixing all of the three primary colors.
Classifying Yellows from a Cool to a Warm Color
You can distinguish the relative temperature of a yellow color just by looking at it. This means that a shade of yellow that leans more towards orange is warmer than other yellows that show more green color. It is our opinion that color temperatures should be seriously considered and not just glossed over. The color classifications we are discussing here are based on oil paint names. The yellow color classification from cool to warm is as seen below:
- Light Cadmium yellow or Cadmium lemon
- Cadmium yellow
- Naples yellow
- Yellow ochre
Classifying Blues from a Cool to a Warm Color
The exact shade of green can be altered by changing the shade of blue or yellow you are using. The same as yellow colors, blue colors also vary from cool to warm so there are many blue tones available. The blue color classification from cool to warm is as seen below:
- Manganese blue
- Cobalt blue
- Ultramarine blue
Softening Bright Green Colors with Complementary Colors
By taking a cool yellow and mixing it with a cool blue color, you can create a vibrant bright green shade. So, if you are painting a natural life-like scene, then you will require more than just a vivid green. This is why it is so important when mixing green colors that you learn the art of softening them. If you need to soften your green slightly, mix it with a small amount of contemporary red color.
NOTE: Remember, when you mix complementary colors, it will result in your colors becoming less vibrant. This means that when you combine a small amount of red with your bright green color, the green color will be less vibrant than it was before.
As you have various shades of yellow and blue, so you have various shades of red. Each shade of red will have the effect of changing your green in different ways, which is why you need to be careful when choosing your red color shades. For example, take alizarin crimson, it will have the effect of softening your green but will still keep it cool.
So, if you are looking for a more earthy and darker green, you should mix it with a small amount of burnt sienna or any other warm red shades. We do suggest that you spend some time examining and understanding the color wheel as it will hold you in good stead when you start mixing the different shades you want to create.
Regulating the Temperature of Your Green
When we are looking at regulating your color temperature, you should think about how to create cool and warm shades of green. As we have seen in this article, color temperature is vital when you start mixing any color, but especially for green shades. If you are painting a nature scene, you want to use different temperatures to be able to depict a bright and sunny day or a cold and wintery afternoon. Next, we will be using, purely as an example, a green that is a mixture of cadmium yellow and ultramarine blue.
Making Cooler Shades of Green
There are several different colors you can use to make cooler shades of green, which will include some purple colors as well as different shades of green. By adding some blue, you can cool your green shade down even further, but make sure you use a cool shade of blue. Are you interested in how to make emerald green paint, then you are at the right place?
Making cooler shades of green, our preference is to use two shades of purple. The first purple shade is known as Dioxazine, which is a slightly darker shade of purple. When mixing your green with Dioxazine purple, then your green color will come out darker as well as cooler simultaneously. However, if you only want your green to be cooler but not darker, you can mix it with a small amount of Provence Violet Blueish. This mixture will give you a superb subtle cool green shade.
You can also make use of different green tones to make your green shade cooler. The best result is obtained when you use two of our preferred green shades. The first is Veronese green, which is a beautiful cool green shade that is similar to teal and can be used to cool any shade of green. When using Veronese green, it will have the effect of making your green shade more saturated. We suggest you use it if you want your green shade to stand out more.
Our other choice is to use Pthalo green which will cool down and saturate your green shade. Pthalo green saturates even more than the Veronese green does. Pthalo green can also be used if you want to darken and cool your green shade down at the same time.
Making Warmer Shades of Green
You should by now be aware that if you add warm colors like yellows, oranges, and reds, it will have the effect of warming your green. By using cadmium orange, for example, has the amazing effect of warming your green. If you are looking for an earthy green, yellow ochre will warm up your green tone. Remember, that because yellow ochre is earthy in color, you will land up with a green that is a little more towards the brown side.
Another amazing option if you want to warm up your green tone is to make use of a small amount of Alizarin crimson. The pigment of this color is very dark so you will come out with a darker shade of green. If you want the best results for warming your green tone, then the best red color to use is cadmium red.
Shading and Tinting: How to Create Different Levels of Green?
If you want answers to the questions like how to make olive green paint, what two colors make dark green, or what colors make light green, then read on. When making colors darker, you should work with shades or work with tints for lighter colors. Because green is a secondary color, trying to get the correct shade of green requires plenty of considerations. This why tinting and shading can be a slightly complicated process.
NOTE: Normally you would use white, which is the tint most commonly used when making colors lighter. However, when dealing with green, white is not the best option to use. When you add white to your green tone, you come out with a shade that looks like sage green that lacks depth.
When you are shading your colors, the most common color to use is black, as many black paints contain a green base. The green base can be a problem if you want to create a grey color, but it is the perfect answer for shading green. If you are interested to know how to make forest green, it is very simple. Simply add a small amount of black. However, if you want to create darker shades of green, then you will have to spend some time experimenting.
Creating Lighter Tints of Green
Whenever you are painting and using green, light green shades form a vital part of your painting project. When you need to create color variations of leaves, or if you want to highlight the area where the sunlight strikes a green surface, then you need to know and understand how to create lighter tints of green. If you are interested in knowing what colors make mint green, use a beautiful shade of green and add a small amount of white?
NOTE: If you are interested in knowing what colors make light green, you first need to take into account a few things. By adding white to your green tone is the simplest method to use when making light green. However, why limit yourself to this single option, as there are many other methods available to give you even better results. Creating light green by using white will give you an uninspiring and pale green tone.
Lightening Your Green by Using Yellow
By adding a small extra amount of yellow to your green tone, will give you an amazing light green shade. So, by using different yellows in varying amounts, you will be able to create numerous light green shades. The yellow will not only make the green light but will also give it a far more vivid color. If you are interested in knowing what colors make mint green, simply take your green tone that consists of a reasonable amount of yellow and then add a small amount of white.
To create lime green shades, just add a small amount of cadmium light yellow. If you want your green shade to be warmer and lighter, just add a warmer yellow color. When mixing any type of substance, you need to experiment a little and the same applies to mixing paint colors.
Dark Shades of Green
Understanding what two colors make dark green shades is just as vital as understanding what colors make light green. If you want to emphasize certain dimensions by adding shadows or create variations, darker shades of green play an important part in your painting project. You need to understand what two colors make dark green.
There are so many instances where you will need to make use of a variety of rich dark green tones. By using black, is the quickest and easiest way to give your green a darker color. However, similar to making your green lighter, using only this one method may result in your painting turning out monotone and dull.
How to Darken Your Green by Using Purple or Other Colors?
To create a rich and deep dark green shade a fantastic option is to add a small amount of purple. Because purple is a secondary color, it does contain some red, so you will need to mix an earthy darker green tone to form a darker green shade. However, if you want a slightly lighter and warmer green tone, add some Dioxazine purple as it is a much cooler purple shade.
You can also get a darker green shade by adding a small amount of Pthalo green; this will give you a cooler dark green shade similar to dark teal. This particular green will make your green rapidly darker, so you should control the amount you add by only using small amounts. This is a very saturated color, so you will have to soften or dull it slightly by adding a small amount of Alizarin crimson. Experiment further by adding a small amount of dark blue paint with your green mix to get a cool darker green tone.
NOTE: To create an earthy dark green that resembles more of a brown, you can add some burnt umber to your green mix. The pigments of the burnt umber have a brown tone, and if you do not want an earthy green tone, then stay away from the option of burnt umber.
How to Create Green without Using Yellow
This almost seems like a contradiction to creating green by mixing yellow and blue. So, how is it possible to make green with no yellow? All the facts point towards yellow and blue making green. However, it is possible to make a range of green shades without making use of yellow, and you will be amazed as to the many available options.
Making Green by Using Orange
So, if you are not going to use yellow to make green, then let us consider what two colors make green? By replacing the yellow with orange, you will be able to make a whole different range of green shades. Our suggestion is to use a cool orange, as this makes it closer to yellow than to red. All depending on what specific green shade you are after, you need to mix one single orange shade with any range of blue colors.
If you want a light green tone, then just mix the orange with any cool blue color similar to Pthalo blue. You might have to play around with the proportions of color, but this particular blend gives you an amazing bright light green shade. To create a more earthy green tone, we suggest you use ultramarine blue instead. This shade of green is not as vibrant as that produced when using a combination of Pthalo blue and orange, but it gives you that earthy tone. Try mixing orange with black or grey and you will come up with a green shade that is darker and closer to brown.
Making Green by Using Raw Sienna
From the information above, you now know how to make green by using orange. Similarly, you can also make green by using raw sienna. Here you will find that these types of green shades will not be as bright and vivid as when you use yellow because raw sienna is a lot warmer color. We suggest you try and experiment a little by mixing raw sienna with a variety of blue colors to see what shades of green you can create. By mixing raw sienna with Pthalo blue, will give you a beautiful deep blueish-green color. When mixing raw sienna with Prussian blue, you will create more of an earthy green shade.
Scientific Chart for Mixing Various Shades of Green
The color theory for mixing various shades of green can be fairly complicated, as it involves different proportions of blue, red, green, magenta, black, yellow, and cyan. If you are familiar with the color theory, we have produced a reference table below to help make mixing green shades a lot easier.
|Type of Green||Hex Number||% Red, Green, Blue||% Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black||Green Shade|
|Beautiful green color tone||#008000||0% Red, 153% Green, 0% Blue||85% Cyan, 12% magenta, 100% Yellow, 2% Black|
|How to make forest green paint||#0b6623||0% Red, 102% Green, 51% Blue||91% Cyan, 34% magenta, 100% Yellow, 27% Black|
|How to make sage green paint||#9dc183||157% Red, 193% Green, 131% Blue||42% Cyan, 7% magenta, 63% Yellow, 0% Black|
|How to make olive green paint||#708238||112% Red, 130% Green, 56% Blue||59% Cyan, 32% Magenta, 100% Yellow, 13 Black|
|How to make emerald green paint (teal)||#008080||0% Red, 128% Green, 128% Blue||87% Cyan, 31% magenta, 49% Yellow, 8% Black|
|How to make neon green paint (chartreuse)||#7fff00||127% Red, 255% Green, 0% Blue||49% Cyan, 0% Magenta, 100% Yellow, 0% Black|
|How to make turquoise green paint||#3fe0d0||63% Red, 224% Green, 208% Blue||58% Cyan, 0% magenta, 29% Y, 0% Black|
|What colors make lime green paint||#c7ea46||199% Red, 234% Green, 70% Blue||27% Cyan, 0% magenta, 92% Yellow, 0% Black|
|How to make aqua green paint||#00FFFF||0% Red, 255% Green, 255% Blue||53% Cyan, 0% magenta, 12% Y, 0% Black|
|How to make blue-green paint||#0d98ba||13% Red, 152% Green, 186% Blue||80% Cyan, 25% magenta, 17% Yellow, 0% Black|
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Green Have a Complementary Color?
Red is greens’ true complementary color and it can be used to soften down a bright green shade. Other green shades such as olive green lie right next to true green when you refer to the color wheel. This means that various shades of green will contain complementary colors that will have different shades of red.
How do You Make Light Green Color?
You can create a bright vibrant light green tone when you mix a large amount of light yellow with a small amount of blue. Do you want to know how to make mint green paint, simply add a small amount of white to your light green? If you want to make your green shade lighter, just add a small amount of white or yellow.
How to Make Forest Green Paint?
This is fairly easy, take any green shade and mix it with blue or yellow. If you want to make your green tone darker, just add a small amount of black, or you can also add a small amount of purple for the same result.
Is it Possible to Create Green with no Yellow?
It is possible to create a large range of green shades without making use of yellow. You can use a bright and cool orange shade to replace the yellow tone when creating your green shade. If you have a color mixing chart available, it will help you to see what blue and cool orange tones to use.