Mixing Greens using Yellows and Blacks

Mixing greens in an unconventional way using yellows and blacks

When I studied color theory in art school, we were taught yellows and blues in different proportions give you greens. Different combinations of these two primaries yield different types of greens – warm greens, cool greens, neutral greens. The possibilities are endless. This weekend I took a skillshare class by artist Chris Carter, Mixing Gorgeous Greens using only Blacks Grays and Yellows which made me rethink my color mixing techniques. The class explored greens using a variety of yellows and blacks/greys.

Here are my results from the experimentation.

Art Supplies used for mixing greens:


  • Sennelier Yellow Light: Sennelier | PY153
  • Lemon Yellow: Daler Rowney | PY3
  • Yellow Ochre: M.Graham | PY43
  • Quin. Gold: Daniel Smith | PO49
  • Ivory Black: Mijello | PBk7
  • Neutral Tint: M. Graham | PV19 & PG7
  • Payne’s Grey: Winsor & Newton | PB15 & PBk6 & PV19


  • Cadmium Yellow Medium: Liquitex Basics | PY74 & PY83
  • Ivory Black: Liquitex Basics | PBk9

Mixing Greens using Yellows and Blacks

Finally, I used Payne’s Grey and Sennelier Yellow Light to create a quick 20 minute landscape. The range of tones and shades these two colors produce is amazing and makes me want to work more in a limited palette, although my usual style is full of happy, bright colors.

Mixing Greens using Yellows and Blacks


A while back, making color charts would make me impatient. I used to think, how on earth do artists do this! But now color mixing feels very therapeutic and de-stressing. I had an amazing Sunday afternoon exploring these greens. I would absolutely recommend watching Chris’s class if you are interested in expanding your green palette. It is a bite size class and you can play along which means you don’t need a lot of time.

What does your perfect green like? Let me know in the comments below.


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