Emerald is May’s birthstone, and it’s a color that sometimes looks artificial.
While not one of the first colors you’ll include on your palette, emerald green is a color you’ll use to add life and intensity to your composition.
Emerald is rich in legend and lore, so let’s take a closer look…
The Emerald In Legend And Lore
This rare and much coveted stone has been has been mined since 330 B.C., and is purported to imbue foresight, youth and good fortune to those who own it. Venus, the goddess of Love, chose the emerald as her sacred stone as the symbol of love. The emerald also symbolizes hope, and wearers of the stone will find inner wisdom and increased spirituality.
This green is a combination of Hansa Yellow, Phthalo Green and Titanium White. It has good lightfast and tinting qualities and is semi-transparent. Since it has a base of Titanium White, it’s not a deep hue, but is great for adding a pop of color.
Emerald Green is similar to Baryte Green, although its base formulation includes Zinc White instead of Titanium White. It is a good staining color, is lightfast and has a great intensity.
Permanent Green Light
Phthalo Green, Titanium White and Hansa Yellow are also used to make Permanent Green Light. This combination is good as a base to build green shades, but the color generally is toned or shaded with other colors to achieve a more natural, subtle hue.
This pigment is used to create a number of vivid green colors, but it is also available as a stand-alone hue. It was created in 1935 and has been used extensively in printing and packaging, as well as an artists’ paint. It is very intense and has a high tinting strength.
It also is resistant to heat, light, acid and alkali. Phthalo Green is a good alternative to the toxic and discontinued Verdigris. It dries slowly when used in oil paints and can easily overpower other colors with its intensity. This color is also known as Cyan Green, Intense Green, Monastral Green, Rembrandt Green and Winsor Green.
Viridian is a chemical formulation developed in 1859. It replaced Verdigris, which was an unstable and poisonous pigment. Viridian is a transparent color that’s good for glazing and has good tinting strength and permanence. In its pure form, it’s almost black in appearance. It’s often interchanged with Phthalo Green, but it is favored by landscape artists as a basis for creating lush and vibrant greens.
This variation of Zinc White and Phthalo Green is manufacturer specific. Because of its Phthalo Green base, it is extremely lightfast, permanent and has a deep intensity that many artists prefer.
Winsor Green (Yellow Shade)
Winsor Green (Yellow Shade) is a manufacturer’s formulation for Phthalo Green. It is intense, lightfast, permanent and is used extensively in glazing.
As you see, there are a many colors manufactured with a minimum number of hues. Each company has its own recipe, so you will find variances in the features of each brand’s formulation.
Add an emerald green paint to your palette, and you’re opening up a whole new world of intensity and color. This vivid and refreshing color will enliven your paintings and add another color dimension to your palette.