“Trees on a Hill”, 2007, 12×9″.
As I mentioned last time, right now I’m only using one yellow, cadmium yellow. I almost never use it straight from the tube. It’s very intense. Mixed with white it makes a very strong yellow that doesn’t “shout” too loudly. All of the yellows in the above painting are mixed with at least a little white. The paler shades, of course, have much more white in the mix.
Cadmium yellow mixed with cadmium red makes a strong but not overbearing orange. I will talk more about orange in another post.
Mixed with blue, cadmium yellow makes a good range of bright greens. Given that cadmium yellow is an orange-yellow rather than a green-yellow, greens mixed from it tend to be less saturated. Even so, I often dull them down further with a small bit of red. The above painting is an exception to this rule, in that I used some pretty bright shades of green. All were mixed from cadmium yellow and one or the other of my blues (mostly ultramarine). I always mix my greens, I don’t use any tube greens.
The other yellow, cadmium lemon, is so intense that I had dropped it from my palette a year or two ago. But I am considering reintroducing it, especially now that I’m in California and need to depict the brassy light here. I might find cadmium lemon’s brash exuberance useful.
Mixed with blue, cadmium lemon yellow makes greens that are so bright they appear fluorescent… or poisonous! But mixed with white, and maybe a tiny bit of something else, it can make some very delicate pale colors.
We’ll see how I feel about cadmium lemon yellow when I try using it again. I’m looking forward to the experiment. And of course I’ll report on the results!