Monday, October 31, 2011

Color Mixing Research

Canaveral Seashore Paintings

Notes From My Color Mixing Journal

I know this is a tree journal but my travels take me to many locations with different color than my home turf. I thought it might be interesting to talk about that on the tree journal before I get back to my usual tree painting efforts.

I spent two days painting at the beach under the beach pavilion. It was excellent because I was able to paint in the shade while viewing the ocean and sky. The first day I painted ocean waves and that was the real challenge of the paint out. I had been practicing waves in my studio for a few weeks in anticipation. That was fairly easy, working from a photo reference. Doing them live, on site is another matter entirely.The three paintings I did were pretty good as studies. I was really fond of one in particular. It was minimal and really appealed to me. The important discovery was the color mixing improvement I got by working for an entire day on waves. I had been mixing improperly in the studio with too blue a mixture. The ocean that day was much grayer and greener than blue. I have noticed that many artists, me too, automatically mix water too blue. I learned a lot about the mixture that day.  I used ultramarine blue, yellow ochre, ivory black, titanium white, and a bit of lemon yellow for the high curl of the waves. Of course in different areas of the beach at different times during the week, the water could be quite blue and even emerald green, but that day it was grayer. Lots of fun and a break from painting the farms, ranches and trees I love so much.


  1. Thanks for this informative post Linda! Given the ocean appeared a little grey, was it an overcast day? Will you per chance be posting a picture of your favourite study somewhere? I'd love to see it.

  2. Surprisingly no Kate. It was sunny, so you just never know. That is the value of studying on location. We can never assume we know what the color will be. Using formula type color mixing can be a mistake. As soon as I get a chance, I will post it on my art notes blog.

  3. Wow - that really is interesting! Thanks very much for answering my question.