8- Green Watercolour Swatches
There are literally hundreds of artist quality watercolours available from many brands. I have tested many of them and created swatches as seen on the right. The square box is painted into a damp wash at the top to show the colour mixed in water, with more pigment added towards the bottom. The rectangle is painted in a juicy wash to show the mass-tone. The small squares at the bottom of the swatch have the pigment number and characteristics - staining, lightfast rating, granulation and transparency.
For more information on Green pigments, see the Artiscreation Gren pigment database page here. the Handprint Green page is here, with comprehensive information based on lightfast tests completed in 2004.
Single pigment Green Watercolours
Green pigments are denoted as PG followed by a number. Notice that Phthalo Green PG7 - a transparent, staining non-granulating green - is similar in hue to Viridian Green PG18, a transparent, non-staining granulating green. You can choose by colour and characteristics. Phthalo Green comes in GS (Green Shade) and YS (Yellow Shade). Note the section of Perylene Greens are made with PBk31, a Black pigment. The last section are all made with a yellow pigment PY129 - variations of Green Gold.
Greens made with Phthalo Green PG7 - staining and transparent
An unrealistic looking colour alone, this is a wonderful mixing colour. It makes an amazing range of useful greens with a warm yellow, Burnt Sienna, Indian Red and other earth pigments, and crimsons and reds. Also known as phthalo green blue shade. It is very similar from different manufacturers.
This is a beautiful but fugitive green.
Hooker's Green Renesans pan; Green (Russian) - White Nights
Hooker's Green Renesans pan; Green (Russian) - White Nights
Greens made with Chromium Green Oxide - PG17
This is an interesting opaque and granulating pigment that is a very similar colour from each manufacturer, though the names for it vary a little.
- Chromium Oxide - A Gallo; Oxide of Chromium - Art Spectrum; Chromium Green - Daniel Smith; Chromium Green Oxide - Da Vinci Chrome Green - Blockx;
- Chrmone Oxide Green - Kremer; Chromium Green Oxide, QoR; Chromium Oxide Green - Rembrandt; Chromium Oxide Green - Renesans half pan; Chromium Oxide Green - Schmincke;
- Chromium Oxide Green - Sennelier; Oxide of Chromium - Winsor & Newton
Greens made with Viridian PG18 - granulating and liftable.
Although very similar in hue, Viridian is a much less powerful green in mixes than Phthalo Green. It is also granulating and non staining. It won't make the same wonderful blacks that can be created by mixing phthalo green with a crimson, bit it will make granulating colours that can be lifted out. It is a tricky pigment to make into a paint it seems, and may take a little more pre-wetting than most colours before use. I add a drop of glycerine to this in the palette and stir well to make rewetting easier.
Cobalt Green Bluish - Kremer; Cobalt Green Pure - Schmincke; Cobalt Green - Rembrandt (discontinued)
This gentle earth pigment doesn't have tinting strength but I enjoy using it for natural stones, rocks and landscape studies.
- Green Earth, Cool - A Gallo; Green Earth, Warm - A Gallo; Green Earth - Blockx; Rare Green Earth - Daniel Smith; Green Earth - Old Holland;
- Terre Vert - QoR; Terre Verte - Winsor & Newton; Terre Verte (Yellow Shade) - Winsor & Newton
Greens made with PG26
Verona Green Earth - Lukas; Cobalt Green Deep - Old Holland; Cobalt Turquoise Green - Rembrandt; Cobalt Green Dark - Schmincke
Greens made with PBk31 - deep shadow greens
Greens Made with Phthalo Green PG36
Best known as phthalo green yellow shade. Another bright, unrealistic, mixing green, that is more on the yellow side.
Greens make with PB36 (see also Cerulean blues and Turquoises)
Cobalt Green - Sennelier; Cobalt Green Deep - Daler Rowney
Greens made with PY129
Cobalt Green Watercolours - made from PG50
It is interesting that you'll also find PG50 colours in the turquoise section.
Single pigment greens in pigment number order. Includes PG8, PG23, PG26, and Daniel Smith Primateks.
Bohemian Green Earth - Daniel Smith; Malachite Genuine - Daniel Smith; Serpentine Genuine - Daniel Smith; Green Apatite Genuine - Daniel Smith; Diopside Genuine - Daniel Smith; Jadeite Genuine - Daniel Smith; Ziozite Genuine - Daniel Smith
Mixed Pigment 'Sap' Greens
I think nearly every range has a version sap green- all somewhat different. Sap green pigment was originally made from the juice of green buckthorn berries, and was totally fugitive. While it is easy to mix your own sap green, a well chosen version that you like can be useful in the palette as a starting point. I particularly like the versions by Daniel Smith, Sennelier and Da Vinci.
Mixed or single pigment 'Hooker's' Greens
The name comes from William Hooker (1779-1832), an English Illustrator/botanical artist who created this mix to paint leaves. Originally made from Prussian Blue and Gamboge. Genuine Gamboge is fugitive, and not used in watercolour any more (I hope). The variety of mixes called Hooker's Green are vast and easy to mix oneself.
Mixed Pigment 'Olive' Greens
Olives come in many colours, as do these watercolours. Pigment information will be written in here shortly.
Mixed Pigment Greens
Some are made from a yellow and a blue, some from a green and a yellow, some using earth pigments but all are mixed greens. It can be convenient to have a mixed green in your palette, especially if it is made with pigments already in your palette for the best colour harmony. (I'll add to these and sort them further shortly.)
Mixed pigment yellow greens
Mixed pigment deep greens
These swatches are painted and added as a guide. The intention is to show the characteristics of each colour when painted. The colour reproduction is not perfect but hopefully will still be helpful used in conjunction with the manufacturer's website. Thank you to those of you, from Canada, Sweden, Australia and the USA, who have helped me with this section by sharing your favourite colours. If you notice errors please let me know so I can correct them. If you have artist quality watercolour that are not shown here and want to help me build up this resource, also please let me know :-)
This page was last edited November 2022. I plan to sort the galleries further to make it easier to find the swatch you are looking for.