It’s a trite composition, sure. But this was a long looooooong week, and I wanted to take a mental vacation. I have been reading a lot of Bruce MacEvoy’s amazing compendium on color (, and wanted to see if I could put some of it to the test, so I experimented with a minimal palette. I have been afraid of Phthalo Blue, Hansa Yellow, and Perinone Orange because they are very neon, but Bruce’s page on compliments ( talks about Phthalo Blue (GS) and Hansa Yellow as reliable primaries. So I took his advice and went with them.

The sky is Phthalo Blue (I don’t have the green shade, so it’s the regular Phthalo Blue) which I cooled with cobalt blue. I wish I had tried cooling with the Perinone Orange instead. Maybe next time.

The sea is Phthalo with a touch of Hansa yellow to warm it, and bring it forward under the sky.

The trees are Phthalo Blue and Perinone Orange, and glazed in three layers to try to get the light to show.

The sand is my attempt to make a neutral from the three colors. I like the color I got as a result.

The rocks are several layers of glazed colors, just mixing the three on my palette, warmer toward the light, cooler in the shadows.

I then used Bloodstone Genuine to paint the deepest earthy shadows.

I also have been watching MuralJoe on YouTube (, who has some really helpful tutorials about color theory. MuralJoe uses acrylic, so his techniques for painting waves have to be inversed with watercolor-I’m excited to try that more.

Still, I tried to focus on what he said about the rule of halves & doubles, and the “ladder” of color (if you start with blue, go through green to get to yellow then white; start red, go through orange to get to yellow and white, start violet, go through blue to green to yellow to white.

I started experimenting here by making the water under the waves greener, hoping to get the effect of windows to the deep at the tips of the waves. It’s difficult to get the tips of the waves right, so I want to practice that some more to see if I can apply MuralJoe’s techniques for painting waves in watercolor.

All in all, I’m happy with it. I got lost a bit in the rocks, and need to be more careful with the directionality of light. I also want to experiment with saturating pigments to get deep shadows so I don’t have to always resort to Bloodstone (a, because it’s expensive, and b, because I think it feels flat.)


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