Everywhere we see the color green, it's nature's color after all. But there's a certain green that artists and photographers prefer, the kind that will remind them of springtime and drizzles. A darker shade of spring green. That is the color viridian.
The name viridian comes from the Latin word for green, “viridis”. According to Visual Arts Cork, Viridian was discovered by a French chemist named Vauquelin in 1797, but was introduced to the artists' palette by color maker Pannetier as he kept the recipe a secret for many years. Eventually, the color was patented by another chemist named Guignet.
The color is known for its cool blue-tinted hue, transparency, compatibility with other colors and lack of toxicity which easily replaces emerald green.
Similar to its chemical make-up, Viridian is favored for its fresh-looking color, of well-hydrated plants and leaves that make them turn dark green. Because the pigment is so translucent and lightfast, of course, it became essential to the artist's palette. Famous works where the color is used can be found in Pierre-Auguste Renoir's “La Yole”, Paul Cezanne's “Bay of l'Estaque”, Vincent Van Gogh's “A Wheatfield with Cypresses” and Claude Monet's “Irises”. Trying to capture the color viridian in photography will prompt you to look for cooler natural landscapes as most greenery there is greenish blue. However, you can easily tint your images with a translucent green by mixing a blue and green filter during outdoor photography.
It’s not too late to capture the lively viridian shade of city parks and gardens. Load up your film camera with a fresh roll of film and save the remaining days of springtime.