Terre Verte / Green Earth


Getting a good photo was hard, and even this isn’t perfect. Whenever I’ve made oil paint from this pigment it’s extremely short paint when it’s freshly made. Even without any stabilizers added the consistency of this paint is the closest there is to being like butter. I think I could even make a sculpture with it.

Genuine terre verte is very transparent and weak tinting. It’s good for glazing, for example. Some brands make an imitation terre verte by mixing pigments like phthalo green with burnt sienna, but the imitations are always far too opaque and are much stronger tinters.

Cool terre vertes, like the Nicosia green earth and the French terre verte at the top, are hard to find. Everyone seems to prefer making the warmer varieties. Sometimes I like to add a little terre verte to ultramarine to make it closer to a middle blue. πŸ™‚


9 thoughts on “Terre Verte / Green Earth

    1. Thanks πŸ™‚
      For some reason, although many other earth pigments are synthetically made, I don’t think anyone makes synthetic green earth, so each of these variations are unique to the place they came from.

      1. That’s fascinating. I’ve recently been experimenting with natural colours and made my own walnut husk ink, a beautiful rich sepia. I’ve also been sent some Bideford Black drawing earth / coal which is dug up in North Devon.

      2. I’ve heard of Bideford black because it can be bought in the US through Kremer Pigments, but it’s $35 for 100g. At that rate it actually costs more than any dry pigment I’ve bought, including a couple of cobalts. Their German site has it for 16.66 EUR though, which only comes out to about $19.88 at the current rate. Apparently they increase all their prices a lot for their New York location. πŸ™‚

      3. Oh that would be really great, but I wouldn’t ask you to go that far. Speaking of digging up pigments though, there’s a UK brand called Pip Seymour that I don’t remember if you’ve heard of. They have oil and watercolor paints made from natural pigments all over the area, like Oxford or Yorkshire. They even have as “drawing materials” what look like solid pieces of those pigments. Kind of makes me want to go out pigment hunting again… πŸ™‚

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