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Viridian Color: What is it, and Why is it Great?

During the course of my color mixing chart exploits, I sometimes stumble across a stupendous color that I never before knew existed. The luscious green viridian color is one such gem! Let’s learn what it is, its uses, and why it’s wonderful!

First, some background. My name is Lillie and I’m an artist and teacher who hand-draws all of the illustrations in my lessons… and likes to do things a little unconventionally. For example, yes, my recent exploration of azure color contained the facts and hex codes… but it may or may not have also had a mermaid in the mix. Anyway! On to discuss the color at hand.

The color viridian
The color viridian: HEX codes.

Viridian Color

Viridian green is a wonderfully calming, nature-oriented blueish green. On the color wheel, it is a cool color between green (a secondary color made by yellow and blue) and teal (what blue and green make) — with a little gray or black mixed in. Its name derives from the Latin word, viridis, meaning “green and fresh.”

If you gaze at my illustration of versions of viridian, above, you’ll see that the color is like a tranquil grassy field — maybe in the late afternoon as dusk is coming. Relaxing, right? Note that viridian is more clear and less muddy than olive color (what orange and green make).

You can also see here that this color is not too light and not too dark; viridian has a medium amount of gray in the mix, so it’s not jarringly electric like ultra-saturated chartreuse: the color green and yellow make when mixed, nor is it as bold as emerald green.

Viridian Hex Codes

Viridian’s hex code is traditionally #40826D, but other versions of it (which I’ve illustrated above) include #417571, #159B8B, #007f66, and #1e9167. It’s funny to me how many different hex code options certain colors have, but if you look at the results above, you’ll see they’re all similar slightly bluish-greens with a hint of gray.

Viridian color
Viridian color, if it were a person!

Uses of a Viridian Palette

Viridian is perfect for artists trying to paint an idyllic nature scene of rolling green hills. For interior decor, a viridian palette helps create a space that feels like a comforting forest. (For more on forest green color, check out “Brown and green make what color?”) If you pair viridian with terracotta color, you’ll have a real Earth Mother vibe!

In fashion, this soothing green is similar to midnight purple in that it has a professional aura since it’s not crazy flashy, but is more exciting than a standard gray or brown suit. And for hair dye? Well, that might actually be getting a little wild.

As you see from my cartoon illustration above, I feel quite strongly that if Viridian were the name of a person, she would be absolutely marvelous — decked out in a flowing green dress and sparkly jewelry. (Yes, I’ve used the figurative language literary device of personification here to bring her to life!)

Viridian Color, in Sum

I hope this exploration of viridian color has been enjoyable and enlightening, and that you also were as excited as I was to learn about this “new-to-me” green (beyond what blue and yellow make)! If you’ve used this color before, where and how did you do it?

If you haven’t heard of it or used it before, does it appeal? As we’re exploring what colors make green, what other shades do you want me to feature, now that I’ve also written about the fresh and icy hue of mint green color? Do share!

Want more? Check out my articles on secondary colors like green, or gorgeous intermediate colors like teal.

Desiring more surprising shades? Browse my big round-up of other unique colors.