• Yufen Zha

Color Talk: Daniel Smith Cascade Green and Green Apatite Genuine

Updated: May 25, 2021



I used to dread painting rolling hills, deep forests, leaves, still waters, etc. The common thread here is the color green. My green always came out drab and lifeless.


That's not the case ever since I discovered these two green paints from Daniel Smith: Cascade Green and Green Apatite Genuine. They now both hold a permanent place in my palette.


Cascade Green is such a crazy color. It showcases a million shades of green found in your everyday surroundings. It starts out as a dark and mossy green straight from the tube, and with just the right amount of water, the pigment separates out to a gorgeous turquoise hue.

It also takes salt and gauze very well. When using gauze, I love how the pigment separates where the fiber of the gauze extracts all the green and the background is left with the beautiful turquoise blue. Perfect underwater scene, no?



Green Apatite Genuine is part of Daniel Smith' Primatek series. It lets you create a beautiful range of greens from fresh yellow-green to deep olive. But what took my breath away is its deep granulation, which adds so much texture to any watercolor painting.

It's such a versatile color. In mass tone it's a dark, almost brown, olive green, but in washes, it's a vivid natural green. I now use this paint in almost every painting of mine that calls for green. I find it especially useful in backgrounds.


Below is a painting I did with only 3 Daniel Smith colors: Cascade Green, Green Apatite Genuine, and Quinacridone Burnt Orange. The beautiful granulation of Green Apatite Genuine in the upper left corner makes my heart sing, while the brown, green, and turquoise hues on the upper right hand corner work harmoniously together, and all from a single tube of Cascade Green.


"Instinct", watercolor on paper, 8" x 12"


Here is another painting where I used primarily Cascade Green and Green Apatite Genuine for the background. In this painting I mixed the two greens right on the paper in certain spots (middle and lower left, as well as upper right). In other spots, the greens were mixed on the paper with Daniel Smith Moonglow (lower right) and Winsor Newton Permanent Rose (upper left).

"Monkey See, Monkey Do", watercolor on paper, 8" x 12"


I hope you find this post helpful. If you are inspired by this post and do decide to give these paints a try, I'd love to see your project. please follow my Facebook studio page "Yufen Zha Studio" and request to join our private group "Friends of Yufen Zha Studio" to share your work with fellow artists.


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Until next time... happy creating!



I’ve included in this post a few affiliate links for the paints I love.


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