Skip to Content

What is the addition of green and yellow?

What is the addition of green and yellow?

When it comes to color mixing, adding green and yellow together results in a secondary color called chartreuse. Chartreuse falls somewhere between green and yellow on the color wheel. The exact shade of chartreuse you get depends on the specific shades of green and yellow used.

The Color Wheel

The color wheel is a visual representation of color theory. It shows the relationship between primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. The three primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. When you mix two primary colors together, you get a secondary color. For example:

  • Red + Yellow = Orange
  • Red + Blue = Purple
  • Blue + Yellow = Green

Tertiary colors are made by mixing a primary color with a secondary color. For instance, red (primary) + orange (secondary) = red-orange (tertiary).

On the color wheel, complementary colors are located directly across from each other. Complementary color pairs contrast strongly and create vibrant combinations. Some examples of complements are red/green, blue/orange, and yellow/purple.

Understanding color theory helps artists, designers, and anyone working with color predict the results of mixing different pigments. It explains why certain color combinations look pleasing together. The color wheel serves as a valuable reference tool.

Green and Yellow’s Positions on the Wheel

Both green and yellow are primary colors located 120° apart on the color wheel. Yellow sits between red and green. When you blend yellow with green, the resulting color is a secondary hue found between them.

Here are the exact positions of green and yellow:

  • Green – 120°
  • Yellow – 60°

Green and yellow are considered complementary colors since they are directly opposite each other. This means they contrast strongly in hue and create vibrant combinations.

Introducing Chartreuse

When green and yellow mix, they produce the secondary color called chartreuse. Chartreuse sits halfway between green and yellow at 90° on the color wheel.

The name chartreuse comes from the green color of the French Chartreuse liqueur. This famous liqueur gets its green color from chlorophyll, the pigment found in plants. Chlorophyll appears green because it absorbs red and blue light.

Here are some key facts about chartreuse:

  • Secondary color between green and yellow
  • Located at 90° on the color wheel
  • Name comes from green Chartreuse liqueur

Chartreuse is often described as a greenish-yellow. It combines the coolness of green with the brightness of yellow. This makes chartreuse refreshingly vibrant.

Shades of Chartreuse

Chartreuse encompasses a range of hues between green and yellow. The exact shade depends on the proportion of green to yellow pigments used.

Here are some common chartreuse shades:

  • Yellow-green – More yellow than green, this vibrant hue leans towards the yellow side of chartreuse.
  • Green-yellow – Containing more green, this shade appears cooler and more muted than yellow-green.
  • Lime green – A bright, intense yellow-green, like the skin of a lime.
  • Neon green – An extreme, brilliant yellow-green, similar to the color of a highlighter.
  • Green-chartreuse – A predominantly green chartreuse closer to yellow-green than true green.

The table below summarizes some common chartreuse shades and their positions between green and yellow:

Chartreuse Shade Position on Color Wheel
Yellow-green Closer to yellow (70°)
Green-yellow Between green and yellow (80°)
Lime green Midway between green and yellow (90°)
Neon green Very close to yellow (85°)
Green-chartreuse Closer to green (100°)

As shown in the table, chartreuse shades span a range of hues between yellow at 60° and green at 120°. The intensity and vibrancy can also vary depending on how much of each pigment is used.

Mixing Green and Yellow Pigments

When working with paints, dyes, or other colored media, you can mix shades of chartreuse yourself. The pigments you use influence the resulting color.

Here are some guidelines for mixing green and yellow to produce different chartreuses:

  • Use more yellow pigment like cadmium yellow for brilliant yellow-greens.
  • Add more green pigment like phthalo or viridian for green-yellows.
  • Mix green and yellow in equal parts for a balanced, lime green.
  • Add a touch of blue to dull the color for an olive green-yellow.
  • Increase the concentration of both pigments for an intense, neon chartreuse.

The mixing ratio of green to yellow pigments provides creative control over the chartreuse shade. Test different proportions on a palette to find your desired hue.

Light Mixing

With light, such as theater lighting, you can also mix green and yellow to produce chartreuse. In lighting, colored gels are placed over white light beams to tint them.

Overlapping a green gel and a yellow gel results in chartreuse light. The intensity depends on the densities of the gels – using darker, more saturated gels creates a richer chartreuse.

You can use separate green and yellow spotlights and blend their pools of light. Or use a dichroic filter to combine the green and yellow wavelengths into one chartreuse beam.

LED and other digital lighting systems allow you to dial in specific chartreuse tones by entering their RGB (red, green, blue) values. This offers precise control for mixing light.

Using Chartreuse in Design

Chartreuse’s eye-catching vibrancy makes it a popular choice for modern graphic design. It brings energy and youthfulness to designs.

Here are some effective ways to utilize chartreuse in graphic design:

  • Use chartreuse as an accent color to make important elements stand out against more neutral backgrounds.
  • Pair chartreuse with dark shades like black or blue for high-contrast designs.
  • Combine chartreuse with complementary colors like purple or red to create vibrant color schemes.
  • Apply chartreuse to graphics, logos, headings, and call-to-action buttons to draw attention.
  • Use different chartreuse tints, tones, and shades to add visual interest.

Chartreuse works well in edgy, contemporary designs. Its neon green hue gives it an energetic, futuristic vibe. Chartreuse commands attention while still feeling somewhat playful.

Chartreuse in Fashion and Décor

Beyond graphic design, chartreuse also sees use in fashion, interior design, and other creative fields. Some examples include:

  • Clothing – Chartreuse accents on dresses, shoes, or bags add a bold, stylish statement.
  • Accessories – Vibrant chartreuse jewelry, scarves, and hats act as eye-catching touches.
  • Furniture – Chartreuse makes a daring accent color for furniture against neutral backdrops.
  • Walls – Use chartreuse paint on a single wall as a vivid accent in a breezy, contemporary room.
  • Textiles – From bedding to upholstery, chartreuse textiles add modern flair.

Chartreuse’s high energy pairs well with minimalist, modern aesthetics. It provides a striking contrast against whites, grays, and blacks. Use it strategically in moderation for maximum impact.

The Mood of Chartreuse

Chartreuse’s vibrancy elicits feelings of energy, youthfulness, and experimentation. Designers often use it to convey:

  • High-energy
  • Enthusiasm
  • Thrill-seeking
  • Radiance
  • Playfulness
  • Whimsy
  • Friendliness
  • Warmth

Lime green shades of chartreuse feel particularly energetic. More subdued olive chartreuses suggest earthiness and nature. Chartreuse impacts mood and appeals to youthful sensibilities.

Considering Color Psychology

Color psychology sheds further light on chartreuse’s effect on emotions and moods. Green hues like chartreuse are associated with:

  • Growth
  • Harmony
  • Safety
  • Health

Meanwhile, shades of yellow relate to:

  • Happiness
  • Optimism
  • Clarity
  • Energy

Blending green and yellow, chartreuse takes on aspects of both. It marries the stability of green with the vibrancy of yellow for an uplifting color.

Use chartreuse when you want to convey youthful exuberance. But limit use, as large chartreuse areas can feel overstimulating. Chartreuse accents go a long way.

Chartreuse in Nature

In the natural world, chartreuse appears in plants, minerals, animals, and more. Here are some examples of chartreuse shades found in nature:

  • Green-yellow budgies and parakeets
  • Lime green tree frogs
  • Tropical fish like electric green tetras
  • Yellow-green lichens and mosses
  • Chartreuse mineral stones like beryl and chrysoprase
  • Greenish-yellow snakes like green tree pythons
  • Lime green leaves and citrus fruits

Nature contains a tapestry of chartreuse hues. They often serve as camouflage, mimicking the shades of leaves and stems. Vibrant chartreuse animals and plants stand out against their surroundings.

Everyday Examples of Chartreuse

Beyond the natural world, chartreuse appears across our everyday lives. Here are some common examples:

  • Highlighter ink
  • Citronella candles
  • Lime-flavored candies
  • Gatorade and other sports drinks
  • Green apples like Granny Smith
  • Chartreuse liqueur
  • Bile and pharmaceuticals
  • Hazmat safety wear
  • Reflective safety vests
  • Traffic signs and safety cones

Chartreuse’s high visibility makes it ideal for highlighting, safety gear, and warning signs. It also occurs in foods and drinks, thanks to its vibrant green hues.


When green and yellow mix, they create the electric chartreuse. Depending on the shade of green and yellow used, chartreuse falls somewhere between green and yellow. Lime green sits squarely in the middle at 90° on the color wheel.

Chartreuse brings energy and vibrancy to designs. It contrasts strongly with dark colors. Use chartreuse in moderation to make project elements pop. Chartreuse conveys youthful enthusiasm and modern flair.

So next time you see a vibrant chartreuse, think back to the color wheel. Understand that this electric hue sits between the primary colors green and yellow. Chartreuse livens up designs and delights our eyes.