I wasn’t hugely impressed by Sap Green, the slightly muted, yellow-green mix. But maybe it wasn’t muted enough?! Do I want an even more muted, olive green on my palette? Let’s find out!
Art Spectrum – Australian Leaf Green Dark
This was the first color I’ve tried in this brand, after Australian reader G. Laine sung the praises of the brand and recommended some of the most unique colors it offers. In the U.S., this brand is hard for me to find, but I found one of the colors on the UK website Jackson’s.
I really liked this color! It gets super dark, grades easily, and looks nicely textured without being granulating exactly. The color is a nice natural looking brown-green.
This is a mix of 4 pigments: Green Gold (PY129), Phthalo Green Blue Shade (PG7), Deep Scarlet (PR275), and Diarylide Yellow (PY83). It mixes quite nicely considering how dull it is and how many pigments it’s made of. Adding blue tends to turn it into a Perylene Green lookalike, while adding red-orange makes nice mid browns.
My only quibble with this paint is that it stayed quite sticky in my palette, which on the one hand made it easy to rewet but also caused it to keep sticking to the roof of the palette.
Daniel Smith – Undersea Green
This highly granulating dark green is a three-pigment mix made from Ultramarine Blue (PB29), Nickel Azo Yellow (PY150), and Quinacridone Burnt Orange (PO48). Like many DS mixes, this one used to be made with “old” Quin Gold (PO49), and they replaced it wholesale with a mix of PY150 + PO48. You can see below the gradient that I was able to approximate it with Ultramarine and the new Quin Gold, which uses those same pigments.
A similar color to Australian Leaf Green Dark, but I found it less usable. It was harder to grade and more wild because of the granulation. At times in the mixes, the blue seems to granulate out. You might enjoy that, I found it annoying.
It’s also worth comparing Undersea Green to Daniel Smith’s Primatek Green Apatite, a “greener” green but one that also has olive undertones and lots of granulation.
Undersea Green gets a lot of love from my favorite paint influencers. John Muir Laws considers it an essential color for the feathers of olive-drab birds. Jane Blundell says, “This dark olive green is perfect for so many of the dull greens of Australia, especially gum leaves.” (Certainly Art Spectrum would claim the same of their ALGD.)
I enjoyed getting to know these colors, but when it comes down to it, I am not entirely sure this is a crucial palette slot for me. It’s reasonably easy to mix an olive green in any number of ways; I could mix Ultramarine and Quin Gold, like Undersea Green does, because I have both on my palette. I could take a Hooker’s or Sap Green mix and add a bit of an earth red, which is essentially what the Australian Leaf Green Dark does. It would be worth it perhaps if I found this color so frequent in my natural landscape that I was mixing it up all the time, but that’s not really the case for me in the Northeastern United States, where bright verdant Hooker’s Green is more useful in summer and everything is simply gray in winter.
On my palette? B team because of how rarely I need it and how easy it is to mix.
Favorite Version: Art Spectrum blew Daniel Smith out of the water, in my opinion.