Tools: Watercolors, 3, Greens to Yellows

Each Sunday for the next few weeks I am looking at my paint “collection.”
In the last weeks:
Tools: Watercolors, 1, Yellow-Orange;
Tools: Watercolors, 2, Red-Pink

One general comment about the greens is MANY of them are based with
Phthalocyanine (sounds like a spy poison), which of course means you can mix greens
with phthalo green (not  typically found in nature) and make amazing colors!
I will take Phthalo greens out for a spin: another post coming!

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN WEB LINEW16 6 PRIMATEKS 03I buy a lot of Primatek colors from Daniel Smith.
Primateks are ground stones in raw form, and their raw forms allow them to separate and move in surprising ways.

They are difficult to control, but then, my attraction to watercolor is the zen-like quality
of the medium.  Primateks are even more spontaneous.   Some separate in unexpected colors, like the Green Apatite and Serpentine, above.  Because I love them, I continue to play and experiment, finding ways to use them, especially in deity images, like Garuda, below, where I am using Green Apatite, Piemonite, Amazonite and Yavapei.


Further, when mixed with other colors the results are amazing, shown below!
Yavapei + Ultramarine, left, making a moody blue shadow. Center, the two squares are Serpentine + Sap +Yavapei in the center, and Serpentine + Sap +Yavapei on the bottom.  The far right is Amazonite + Yavapei; below it Amazonite + Serpentine.

I could mix paints all day and never paint an image.
Is there a job called colorist?  Tester extraordinaire?

W14 11 19 LS COLOR 1

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN WEB LINENOTE: All paints Daniel Smith (DS) unless it says
otherwise — including the Primatek colors.

W16 6 5 GREEN YELLOW 001First, let’s talk colors that look the same,
have the same pigment structure,

or are called by the same name out of the way:

Two Permanent Green Light, both too muddy for my tastes:
DS (with many ingredients) PY3-PG7, and QoR (many ingredients) PY3-PG7.
Proof that occasionally to colors with the same pigment values can be quite different.  Why are the so different?  It is the binders?  More for me to learn about.
If I bought one again it would likely be the Daniel Smith version.

Two “Green Gold‘s” that are completely different, and a reason to look at the
pigment values not just the name.  Green Gold, PY115/3-PG36, and QoR’s Green Gold, Copper Complex of Azomethine, PY129.  QoR’s is a muddy color by its nature,
but is not muddy as it it rich with pigment, and one of the few QoR’s
I will keep — in fact, both are keepers for me.

A comparison of tube and pan watercolors in the same hue, from Sennelier:
Phthalo Green Light 805 tube (many ingredients) PY153-PG7, and pan.
The pan is thicker, muddier, darker and less transparent.
I may never been a fan of pan watercolors.

To see references on YELLOW and GREEN from handprint, click through.


Which are keepers?  I want vibrant surprises or deep shadowy colors;
and I mix a lot of my greens on paper.  I love both QoR’s Bohemian, (nearly Pure Amorphous Carbon, Chlorinated Copper Phthalocyanine, Synthetic Iron Oxide — REALLY, ALL THAT?), PBk7-PG7-PR101-PY42 and QoR’s Green Gold, PY129,
even though the Bohemian is a bit muddy — it is great for underleaves and mossy stone and is deep and lovely.  I’ll keep both QoR and W15 2 19 GARUDA WASH MIK IMAGE 001DS’s Green Gold, (also many
ingredients) PY115/3-PG36.   Primatek Serpentine, Primatek Green Apatite, right, and Primatek Diopside are often used keepers. The latter is the reason I probably will not buy as much of the Primatek Jadeite, because I simply reach for it more in mixes, a surprisingly versatile color.

Sap Green, Quinacridone + Phthalocyanine, PO49-PG7, is the green color
I use up most in the greens, especially when I am on the fly and not mixing.
QoR Terre Green PG23, barely made the cut, and I will try Daniel Smith’s version before I purchase it again.  Mostly, it is a soft color, but I find I use it often.
I’d like to find a better version, as QoR doesn’t wet easily, and I don’t know why;
I put a couple of drops of water in and let it sit for a long time before adding even more water in my pan.  (Suggestions welcome here!)  Sennelier Phthalo Green Light 805, (many ingredients) PY153-PG7 is a good spring-mix color, captures the brilliance
much better than the pan version.  Deep Sap, (many ingredients) PB27-PO48-PG3,
and Undersea Green, Ultramarine + Quinacridone, PB29-PO49, both offer
great shadow options for foliage and building shadows.

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN WEB LINEThe Rarely or Never Agains:

There are some great colors in this batch, and in many instances in all the
Never Agains” it is because they either:
don’t work the way I work (totally opaque does not work for me hardly ever) or
there is a color I prefer (Jadeite, Green Umber).

And after looking at all these colors, posted or not,
I can safely say I don’t like pan watercolors.
They have a different feel and opacity or lack of vibrancy even in the best colors.

Sometimes it is a matter of what I will use most, sometimes they are
muddy or dull or blah pigments.  Sennelier Phthalo Green Light 805 PAN
(many ingredients) PY153-PG7 is out — and maybe all pans are out for me.  Dullsville!  Spring Green, (many ingredients) PY53/151-PG36, and I prefer the Phthalo instead.  Primatek Jadeite, because I reach for Diopside, is a color I’ll rarely buy again.  Sennelier Forest Green 899 PAN, blah.  QoR Permanent Green Light (Chlorinated Copper Phthalocyanine, Arylide Yellow) PY3-PG7 is just too muddy; Sennelier’s (above) is much more transparent and “bright.”  QoR Chromium Oxide, PG17, is so opaque a tube might last me a lifetime; again, I perfer transparent watercolors.  Sennelier Green Umber 203, PY83-PB6036-PBk7, is a no-go because I reach for Deep Sap or Undersea GreenPrimatek Black Tourmaline was a huge disappointment.  Blah…

Viridians I put with the blue-green in the next posting…  You’ll see my logic!


Pentalic Field Journal, Platinum Carbon pen, and Greenleaf & Blueberry,
Sennelier, Holbein, QoR, M.Graham and Daniel Smith watercolors.


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About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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14 Responses to Tools: Watercolors, 3, Greens to Yellows

  1. Youanna N. says:

    I cannot have enough of that Apatite Green! I have to look closely for more Primatek from DS! Thanks for sharing your experiences!


  2. So interesting to see your process. The serpentine rocks I just took to my niece’s wedding were closer in color to apatite and undersea than to the serpentine in these samples. Interesting.


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