Yellow-Green: Surfaces & Texture

As we begin a new month I’m stepping round to the next color in the wheel in the year full of color project. Twelvty this month is exploring Yellow-Green.

“Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.”

Claude Monet 


As we begin a new month I’m stepping round to the next color in the wheel in the year full of color project. In Twelvty this month I’m exploring Yellow-Green.

This is the first of the tertiary colors we encounter in our journey around the colour wheel: these are the intermediates, the not-really-one-nor-the-other.

When it comes to playing with yellow-green as a single color, it becomes like a dance between it’s color wheel neighbours.

watercolor & ink on gesso on watercolor paper

Painting on Texture

There are so many different combinations and ways to add color to texture. Here are some I like playing with a lot.

Gesso (clear or white), matte gel medium or white acrylic paint all make for a good base layer, and all give slightly different effects. Try covering the whole piece, or leave places bare for contrast

When this layer is dry you can add even more texture by crumpling and folding the paper, breaking the surface of the gesso

Do experiment – tell me which you like best!

I like to agitate the surface with a plastic card before the gesso sets to get those lovely tree bark patterns with peaks and ridges and organic wiggly, wavy lines.

I’ve had equally good results dabbing at the wet surface with a plastic bag. I shared a demo of this in a previous episode, but for this post we’re jumping in at the point where this is done, and the paper has dried.

Adding Color

The color I used was a very watery watercolor paint in yellow + green drawing inks (‘chartreuse’, ‘olive green’, ‘grass green’). Any water based color will work – I always advocate the use what you have principle – any yellows and greens that aren’t too blue-ish will work for this.

Version One: I gave the whole piece a wash of light, thin, watery color then added drips and drops of stronger color.

Version Two: Ink drips first onto dry gesso then watercolor dropped on top.

Lifting and tipping the paper side to side encourages the color to run around in the textured surface, so pigment settles in the valleys and shows up the patterns.

Where the wet color puddles I dragged it about with a paint brush, linking the pools together for the color to flow between.

Explore all the ways to hold and move the paint brush – left handed, right handed, by the very tip of the handle – let it hop and skip across the surface – try with eyes closed – twisting and flicking color about – dance the brush in time to music or a rhythm in your head.

Here’s how my first layers of color over gesso began…

Yellow-Green, ink and watercolor on gesso on paper. Layers on layers on layers!

Next post I’ll show you a way I like to use painted papers – especially the ones that haven’t gone the way I would have liked!

Every month this year I am making a series of pieces in just one color, so at the end of the year I can combine them into one big multicolored work. 

I’ll be sharing my process throughout this adventure here in this blog.

I’d love for you to join me. TWELVTY is open to everyone, and better yet, it’s free! Sign up for my newsletter to find out more and get your free TWELVTY guide ebook. 

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Author: Mixy

artist, thing maker & idea magpie. I am making it all up, one bit at a time.

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