Most academic color discussions will start with the primary colors, red, blue, and yellow. Aha! I am no scholar and what I know about color, came from sitting down and getting dirty. I want to talk about Sap Green today, because it is the one color that I would choose to have with me if I were stranded on a desert island.
No colors give me more trouble than the greens. I simply don't have an eye for green. I have no trouble when using reds or yellows, but greens never look natural in my works, no matter how hard I try. When I see plein air paintings by some of my contemporaries, I always marvel at how realistic or natural their greens are. ( MENTAL NOTE.....I will conquer green this year.)
OK, Sap Green. This green is usually nice and juicy,straight from the tube It is a transparent color and makes wonderful glazes. It is one of the few greens that I find looks natural straight from the tube. Now, mix a little Indian Yellow to it and you have a super natural looking green. I have started using this green in most of all my green mixes. Now, take some Alizarin Crimson (another transparent color) and add that to Sap Green and you will have a wonderful rich brown to put into your landscapes. If you have a bright red and need to reduce it's intensity, just add a bit of Sap Green to grey it down. The downside to Sap Green is that it is a fugitive color, or so I am told by the scholars. I doubt I will live long enough to prove or disprove this, so I still want my Sap Green.