Recipe For a Small Painting

I paint a lot of small pictures, quite often to sort out in my mind a colour palette that will work.
This is one I painted last week and thought I would share with you the colours I used.
Mary Kemp
"Far Horizon"

6" x 6" mdf board
3 layers of Winsor and Newton gesso
Layer of pale lemon acrylic

Changing to Winsor and Newton Griffin alkyd paint.
  • The sky is cobalt blue fading to a pale cerulean and white with pale lemon at the horizon. (I don't particularly like the way the light looks on the horizon  in this photo so I may change it to be a bit whiter.)
  • The mountain is violet with titanium white.
  • For the layer below I used pthalo blue. I haven't used that for a while. For a long time it was my go-to blue colour , then I went off it and stuck to cobalt.
  • The sea called for pale cerulean and cobalt blue, and I let the pale lemon ground show through as sparkles of light.
  • For the surf I used the interior designers favourite, magnolia, a mixture of titanium white, cadmium yellow and raw sienna.
  • The sand colour is tricky. I didn't want it too yellow so used buff titanium, not available in alkyd so I had to use conventional oil paint, the slightest touch of Naples yellow and violet with titanium white.

Unusually at the end of this I wrote all the colours down. It's something I should do more often, because I cannot count  how many times I have looked at a piece of artwork down the line and thought "That looks good! I wonder how I did it" and then I have to work it out all over again.


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