Forest green has been seeing a resurgence in its popularity recently similar to how it did in the mid 1990’s. Just like all colors that see a sudden spike in its popularity, we have noticed more and more people reaching out and asking how they are able to make their own forest green paint.
Due to many artists feeling that green paint can be left out of most artists paint palette due to the various shades usually being easy to mix at home, we wanted to publish this article going over a number of whys that you are able to make forest green. Throughout the article we are going to be going over how you can make forest green paint by mixing paints you currently own as well as how you can make your own pigment to mix with various paint mediums too.
Depending on your situation and the colors that you currently have in your paint palette though, many of our readers will simply be better off purchasing a decent, cheap forest green paint tube than making their own. That said, we are fully aware that many people in the arts and crafts community see making their own paints and inks as a part of the creation process so this article should be helpful.
What Is The Forest Green Color?
Forest green is a dark green color that was given its name due to it resembling the lush dark green of a forest. Even hearing the name is enough to invoke visions of lush, dark green forestry stretching out as far as the eye can see. Forest green is a common option for landscapes, especially with heavy tree or shrub usage but more recently the color has been used for supporting the ecosystem and for climate change awareness campaigns. Over the last few years forest green has also been used in combination with a dark red for various Christmas decorations and cards too.
The color can be an excellent stand alone option but does tend to do well when mixed with other colors too with it being a great accent blues and other greens. Due to its dark coloration forest green is not as versatile as some of the other greens available but it is a solid color to carry in your palette as an artist.
What Colors Do You Mix To Make Forest Green?
You are able to mix kelly green, royal blue, and black to make your own forest green from the paints you currently have in your collection. If you have similar colors to the kelly green and royal blue then they may work too but sticking to the listed colors does tend to produce the best possible results.
We usually recommend that you start with nine parts kelly green and one part royal blue with a very slight touch of black when mixing your own paint. Once the paints have been thoroughly mixed you can then test and adjust as required to darker or lighten the mixture as required. The majority of the time you may have to add a touch more royal blue and black but the basic ratio should be able to get you close to kelly green.
Although it can be very hit and miss, you can also get close to kelly green by mixing some leaf green with nutmeg brown while adding a very small amount of black. We would only recommend this particular paint mixture if you don’t have any other alternatives available though as it can go wrong on a regular basis due to brown and green being a pain to mix correctly.
How To Make Forest Green Acrylic Paint!
Making your own pigment when wanting to make forest green paint is a nightmare and the base reagents required are difficult to source. Due to this, we usually just recommend that our readers pickup some pre-made forest green pigment if you are wanting to make your own homemade paints by mixing pigment with a paint medium.
Although you are able to use white gesso, clear gesso acrylic does perform much better and it also needs considerably less pigment in it to actually make your paints. No matter the type of gesso that you are using, we would still recommend that you start with a small amount of your pigment as you usually need less than you initially think, especially if you are using clear gesso.
Once you have added your pigment to your gesso, mix the two together thoroughly prior to adding any more pigment to your paint. By thoroughly we mean use the tool that you are mixing to pull gesso up from the bottom of your container to check if your pigment has mixed all the way to the bottom. Due to the high density of gesso, it can be common for the pigment to site in the top half of your gesso and not mix correctly.
If this happens, over the coming days after you have made your own forest green paint, the pigment tends to sink throughout the gesso due to gravity and you end up with a very pale color. Thankfully though, simply using your mixing tool to constantly pull gesso up from the bottom of your container prevents this and ensures you get a good mix going.
Once you are confident that your self made paint has been mixed thoroughly, compare its current color to a sample of forest green and then adjust as required to darken or lighten it. Darkening your paint is simple as you just need to add more pigment but if you do need to lighten it then adding more clear gesso may not be enough and you may have to add a little white paint, this is why we always recommend that you start with a very small amount of pigment and work your way up.
All that said and done though, the majority of our readers will probably be better off just buying some commercial forest green acrylic paint as it may be cheaper and provide a better end result than homemade paint until you have gone through the process multiple times. If you do need large amounts of forest green then making your own paint may work out cheaper but if you just need a small tube then buying the tube usually works out better due to gesso usually not being available in small amounts.
How To Make Forest Green Oil Paint!
To make your own forest green oil paint you simply add your forest green pigment to a decent oil-based paint medium. Although you can use a professional oil-based paint medium if you really want, many people just use linseed oil due to it being so cheap and working very well.
Making your own oil paint tends to be much easier than the other homemade paint types too. Although we would still recommend that you start with small amounts of pigment at first, it tends to suspend in an oil medium much better than an acrylic medium. This makes it much easier to mix together and get a nice and consistent color with your homemade forest green oil paint too.
If you are planning to use linseed oil as your paint medium then you can usually so this very cheap too. If you are wanting to use a commercially produced paint medium then we would recommend that you just pick up some pre-made forest green oil paint as it tends to workout much cheaper. The professional oil based paint mediums tend to be very expensive while only offer a marginal benefit over using something like linseed oil so are not worth it in our opinion.
How To Make Forest Green Watercolor Paint!
You can make your own forest green watercolor paint by adding some forest green pigment to a suitable watercolor medium such as gum Arabic but this is by far the hardest type of paint to make at home. Simply keeping the consistency of the gum Arabic correct is a pain and often results in more trouble than it is worth.
If you do want to give it a try then you start with small amounts of the pigment but keep in mind that you should be using the same technique mentioned above in our section for acrylic paint when mixing. This is due to gum Arabic also having a high density and the pigment often only mixing into the top half of the medium in your container so you have to use your mixing tool to pull the gum Arabic up from the bottom to mix it correctly and then darken or lighten as required.
In our opinion though, the majority of our readers will be better off by just going with a pre-made forest green watercolor as making it yourself usually takes more time and effort than it is actually worth. If you are only looking to make your own watercolor forest green paint then it is definitely going to be cheaper and offer better results if you just go with a commercial product.
That brings our article going over how you are able to make forest green paints in your own home. We would usually recommend that our readers initially try to make their own forest green paint by mixing colors in their current palette as explained earlier in the article due to it being so much quicker and easier. If that is not available to you then buying a tube of the relevant paint will probably end up being better than actually trying to make your own paint at home.