Greens without green
Watercolour painting tips from Barry Herniman
When I first took up painting in watercolour I purchased an array of books and art videos and followed them to the letter believing this was the way forward. The colour palette you used was also ‘fixed’ and always seemed to include all the earth colours and tube greens, so I went along with it and all my paintings were rather flat and stilted.
A eureka moment
For my greens I used a lot of Viridian , along with a whole plethora of other greens. It’s a lovely colour but one which seemed to dominate my paintings no matter how I modified it. Then I purchased a book by an American artist who mixed all her greens and that for me was an eureka moment. So now in my palette I don’t have a single green, rather mixing my own depending on the scene in front of me.
Lessons in mixing
In my new book ‘Painting mood and atmosphere in watercolour,’ (buy online at Pegasus Art for £12.99) I explain how I mix the myriad of wonderful greens together with painting exercises. I have held painting workshops under the heading ‘green without green’ and after their initial scepticism my students have gone on to produce some really good and exciting work. So the proof of the pudding …!
Just as aside, I have since dropped ALL my earth colours from my palette and now use transparent and semi transparent pigments almost exclusively and am pleased with the results from it.
Step-by-step watercolour scene
Barry Herniman is an ambassador for Schmincke Watercolours, which we can highly recommend. Shop their range online here.
Find out more about Barry by visiting his website here.
Learn how to paint plein air with Barry Herniman
Book a place on his Travelling Sketchbook Plein Air painting workshops here:
Attendees on this workshop will have the opportunity to buy a signed copy of Travelling Sketchbook for £20 which normally retails at £35.