favorite paint mixtures

Favorite Paint Mixtures: Cerulean Blue

cerulean-favorite-paint-mixtures-with-tubes
cerulean-favorite-paint-mixtures-with-tubes

When I first began taking painting classes taught by Danni Dawson, I remember her saying what a helpful paint cerulean blue was. I remember this because I remember thinking at the time, “what does she see in it?”, because I had a tube of it and hardly ever used the color when I would squeeze some out.

Instead the squeezed out paint was more destined to dry out untouched on my palette than ever be touched by a paint brush.

At the time, I favored cobalt turquoise more whenever I would need a blue-green. I still love using cobalt turquoise, however in this past year I have grown to love the soft, semi-opaque quality of cerulean blue.

cerulean-favorite-paint-mixtures-clouds-1
cerulean-favorite-paint-mixtures-clouds-1

Cerulean blue because it is a softer blue can be mixed to create some wonderful atmospheric effects.  And in skies I think it is a color that really excels when you want to recreate the subtle blues that fade to greenish-blues as the sky moves closer to the horizon.

cerulean-favorite-paint-mixtures-clouds-2
cerulean-favorite-paint-mixtures-clouds-2

Cerulean also mixes so well with its neighbors on the color wheel, that if a blue needs to be deepened or shifted ever so slightly, it is almost always better to try it first with cerulean rather than the more opaque cobalt turquoise

cerulean-with-swatches
cerulean-with-swatches

Cerulean Blue (PG 35) is a semi-opaque, granular pigment, that is soft and subtle, and mixes so well with its neighboring colors on the color wheel. What I have grown to love about this pigment is how it shifts and slides from being a rich greenish-blue in it pure state to soft mixtures of blues, purples, or greens.

This is a color that requires a bit of finesse in using it because it is a granular pigment. Just play around with a true cerulean blue in watercolors to really see how granular it is when laying down washes, however it is this quality that also lends it its velvety texture in oil paint, something to be cherished and used to its maximum effect.

In the past year I have switched from using the Winsor & Newton Cerulean Blue to the Blue Ridge Cerulean Blue, which are both semi-opaque paints, however I prefer how the Blue Ridge is more creamy and soft. Also to note, the Williamsburg Oil Colors Cerulean Blue is an opaque pigment as it comes out of the tube and to achieve the quality I have grown to like so much, you need to mix it with some medium like stand oil to get the semi-opaque quality.

cerulean-yellow-brilliant-pale
cerulean-yellow-brilliant-pale
cerulean-viridian
cerulean-viridian
cerulean-manganese-violet
cerulean-manganese-violet
cerulean-french-ultramarine
cerulean-french-ultramarine
cerulean-cobalt-green
cerulean-cobalt-green
cerulean-cad-red-med
cerulean-cad-red-med

.............................................................

Want to learn more about painting with oils?  I have a teaching newsletter with actionable mini-lessons in each issue.  

Sign up here to receive more oil painting lessons.

RELATED BLOG POSTS:

Favorite Paint Mixtures: Alizarin Crimson

Favorite Paint Mixtures: Dioxazine Purple

Favorite Paint Mixtures: Permanent Green

Favorite Paint Mixtures: Permanent Rose

Favorite Paint Mixtures: Permanent Green

Permanent-Green-Favorite-Color-Mixtures
Permanent-Green-Favorite-Color-Mixtures

Permanent Green a relatively new addition to my palette, it was added around six months ago, as an experiment, and it has since become one of the hardest working pigments on my palette…

Permanent Green, (PG 36, PY 74) is the modern substitute for the original Cadmium Green Med that has been discontinued by so many manufacturers.  Early on in my painting classes, I would hear how wonderful Cad Green Med was, but not knowing any difference and also liking what I could do with Cadmium Green Lt (WN) there was never a need to go investigate.  Then last year, I began the Bountiful Observations series, and the need to know and understand more green mixtures became important.

And now that we are entering spring, and life is beginning to peak out of the ground, and buds will be blossoming soon, I thought it would be a good thing to introduce my favorite hardworking green that mixes so well… these six mixtures are just the beginning. I love how this color mixes with black and oranges also.

Permanent-green-mixtures-spring-boarder
Permanent-green-mixtures-spring-boarder

The thing that permanent green does best is support and emphasize the color it is mixing with, so when you mix it with blues, you are able to attain the soft blue-greens of the leaves and stems from flowering bulbs. And I think when mixed with other greens, like viridian, it just deepens the green without turning it too “electric” green. And being a semi-transparent pigment, I like to skim this green over a permanent rose or aliz. crimson underpainting, for the shadow areas.

Permanent-green-mixtures-pansies
Permanent-green-mixtures-pansies

See how cool this green can go when mixed with the different blues, but how it warms up and glows yellow-green when mixed with the cadmium yellow. This color also mixes well with cad. lemon, and cad. yellow lt, and I particularly also like it mixed with indian yellow, because you get a very transparent and staining rich yellow-green.

Permanent-green-mixtures-c&o-canal
Permanent-green-mixtures-c&o-canal

When working on a landscape, this green can be added to colors to bring it forward or push it backwards, hyping up its color saturation or neutralizing it depending on whether it is mixed with a analogous color or compliment. Permanent green falls into a warm temperature of the greens available because of its yellowish cast when strait out of the tube, but I find it adapts well, and even mixes well with a third color.

Permanent-green-mixtures
Permanent-green-mixtures

I love Permanent Green because of its ability to adapt and mix with other pigments.

Permanent Green is a semi-transparent bold middle value green. It shifts warm or cool depending on what you mix it with, and will mix with compliment reds to create a variety of deep and diverse darks, not quite mixing to a black, but rich neutralized purples.

The Permanent Green I have been using most is made by Blue Ridge Oil Colors, I like how it stays open and the thick creamy consistency of the paint.

permanent-green-cad-yellow
permanent-green-cad-yellow
permanent-green-cerulean
permanent-green-cerulean
permanent-green-cobalt-blue
permanent-green-cobalt-blue
permanent-green-cobalt-turquiose
permanent-green-cobalt-turquiose
permanent-green-permanent-rose
permanent-green-permanent-rose
permanent-green-viridian
permanent-green-viridian

.............................................................

Want to learn more about painting with oils?  I have a teaching newsletter with actionable mini-lessons in each issue.  

Sign up here to receive more oil painting lessons.

RELATED BLOG POSTS:

Favorite Paint Mixtures: Alizarin Crimson

Favorite Paint Mixtures: Dioxazine Purple

Favorite Paint Mixtures: Permanent Rose