Viridian and Ultramarine Shadow Landscape

Shadows watercolour landscape viridian and ultramarine landscape

Shadows Across The Land,   can you Imagine…

As the sun sets behind the darkened wall, Night looms. But for a second still….  the glimmers of iridescent viridian and ultramarine can yet be seen.  Quake not, that night falls.  Slumber we all and immortal we be not.

Shadows watercolour landscape viridian and ultramarine landscape
Shadows across The Land: viridian and ultramarine watercolour landscape with acrylics

Viridian Green  PG18

Viridian got its name from the Latin word “viridis”  meaning  green.   It comes from the verb “vireo”  to be verdant, to sprout.  It is a blue-green made from chromium oxide dehydrate which was patented in 1859.

Viridian has a very good lightfast rating I which is excellent I’m happy to report!    Viridian is a lovely transparent, clean green, that granulates (leaves gorgeous textural effects.)

I would normally,  mix it with other colours to tone it down a bit.   Viridian, as a strong green can elicit either quite favourable responses in the viewer or can garner a very unpleasant reaction.   Green can do that!

Viridian mixed with earth colours:  Siennas and Umbers  it will create the most lovely natural foliage greens.   When mixed with Rose madder or permanent rose,  it will create great soft greys.

Mixed with ultramarine it creates many variations of blue greens that are perfect for water and ocean scenes.       Viridian can be a strong colour all by itself, and unless that is specifically the mood/effect you are after, you’ll  want to ‘tame the beast.’

Ultramarine Blue   PB29

Ultramarine also was named from a Latin word, meaning ” Beyond the Seas.”   Due to the fact that it was Lapis mined from Afghanistan and imported by sea transport.

These days,  our ultramarine paint  is not ground up Lapis Lazulis, but a substitute that is much cheaper.  Synthetic sodium sulfo silicate product  we know as Ultramarine Pb29 was invented  about 1826.

Ultramarine is Lightfast I.  Is relatively clean, a fantastic granulator!   Mixes well with others.

Brilliant with Burnt Sienna, for chocolates, burgundy, browns, greys, slate blue- grey, blacks, blue greys.   Mixed with raw umber, raw sienna, quinacridone gold will create lovely foliage greenery.

Mixes like a charm with Permanent Alizarin Crimson for the most delightful vibrant purple violets.     Ultramarine is also good in  multi-blue blends. Mixing cerulean, indanthrone, indigo, phalo, cobalt with ultramarine in varying ratios ….. can provide some stunning and unexpected colour blends!

Watercolour Landscape Painting  processes

  • With no white of the paper left,  this painting required a very strong dark as its deepest dark in order to make  the paler orange sky area appear much lighter than it actually is.
  • The diagonal sweep from left to right with the viridian leads the eye in and upwards, giving some direction and movement.
  •  I used both wet splatter and some dry brush to create textural effects in the foreground area.
  • The slash of red was a bit of cad red on my thumb that I quickly rubbed across towards the top.
  •  I chose to use primary colours that were very direct and not subtle for this image.    Perhaps to emphasise the drama of the setting sun and coming twilight.
  • Again, this is not a smooth, subtle piece….. but still, the tonal values are sufficient, the design leads you in, there is adequate background – middle ground – foreground,   and my eye goes to a specific focal area upper left.
  • There is also a very strong mood, atmosphere attached to this image – its not a neutral ho hum.  Its an image you either love or will dislike vigorously!


Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at and,

21 thoughts on “Viridian and Ultramarine Shadow Landscape

  1. It’s always a pleasure to read your posts and to look at them. Your stories are always very interesting. Good they don’t use lapis lazuli anymore for color because I need it to make jewellery, hehe. Have a wonderful week-end, regards Mitza

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’ve always loved colour, art, photos, research, writing and history, so these posts make a good platform to combine those interests….. hopefully in a practical way that benefits others.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yes, that’s great that you combined all your talents. We have a lot in common. I love colors, art, photos and writing, jewellery, too. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. In the next days I will make photographs from the last brooches I made. I’m always in lack of time. Any art work is some sort of meditaton for me and gives me peace. No need to be “envious” if I look at your wonderful paintings. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – your comments are helpful and appreciated Andrew. I’m glad to see that this piece has stirred some others as well. I do think it looks better live, than online. Sometimes its the other way around though 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Debi, ‘Sure enjoying your imaginative posts and all they have to offer us. Thank you for all the thought and care that you put into them. ‘Love getting them in email. Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hello Leslie, Thank you so very much! I loved writing my preface for this image as part of the creative process.
      To inspire and stir others to ……… ” Imagine And Create”
      remains, one of my main objectives 🙂


  3. I’m a bit scared of viridian, and often remove it from my sets, but you have inspired me to experiment. Lovely post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. it is a ‘pretty’ colour….can be dangerous if used by itself, but Lovely when mixed in blends! and thank you very much for your compliment 🙂


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