Green Marmot, possibly from Ireland
I am going to continue talking about greens tonight by addressing some of the greens that you might have on your palette. My e-mail filled with questions about this and that green so In will describe a few of the common green pigments. Usually in small type on the tube are a couple of letters and numbers that will tell you what is actually in the tube. I have included those below.
There aren't all that many common green pigments in the art game, there are a lot of reds and yellows, but only a few greens. Here are those you will run into, and one you won't.
Viridian, (PG18 in the code on the tube) has been for a long time the standard artists green. It is made from hydrated chromium oxide,(whatever the hell that is) Viridian is a bluish green that is permanent. In recent years it has become expensive. I have had a problem with its being gritty on the palette.When mixed with cadmium yellow it will yield a foliage color in sunlight. Viridian is graduallyt being replaced on many artists palettes with............
Pthalocyanine green, often referred to as thalo is a powerful color discovered in the early 1900's. Thalo can be hard to manage due to its great pigmenting strength, it is what you get if you buy a tube of green marked with the words viridian hue. Manufacturers market it in different shades from a yellow green, to a cool blue like viridian, which is what I use. I mix most of my greens but lately I have had Pthalocyanine green deep from RGH on my palette.Remember that every manufacturers "deep" will be a different shade.
I used to use sap green, which was made from buckthorn berries. It was impermanent but a wonderful hue. It was transparent and had a brown, sort of whiskey color under its green. Sap green today is nothing like that and is a mixture of thalo and who knows what else. That varies with the manufacturer. I have no use for the hue today called sap green.
Chromium oxide green, (PG17) is a chromium color related to viridian, it is opaque, permanent and a dull green -yellow . It is a useful landscapists color. I think Metcalf used a lot of it. Give this color a try if you are experimenting with greens, it is not too powerful and goes well with earth colors.
You will never use emerald green , but it was once a common color. It was also called Paris green, and was copper aceto-arsenate. Besides being a green pigment it was an important insecticide in the 19th century. Deadly to bugs and artists. I mention it only as trivia, you will never see it as a pigment on your palette.
Cadmium Green, is an expensive mixture of cadmium yellow and usually cobalt. it is a permanent and opaque color that is not widely used because of its expense.
Terra Verte is an earth color made from a greenish clay. Generally today manufacturers use a mixture of burnt sienna and a blue instead of the real thing. It is a dull green with little pigmenting strength that is often used in underpainting flesh in Italian style paintings that will be painted in glazes.
Pretty much everything else out there is a mixture of pthalocyanine and a yellow pigment given an attractive and sometimes descriptive name by its maker, like olive green or vegetable green, etc. The pigment code for thalo is PG 7 and PG36 if either of those codes are on the tube, you are getting thalo .