The water of the harbor with its dancing reflections begins somewhat like the sky. The basic blues are painted first. Ultramarine Blue + MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White is used for the most distant water. Moving forward the blue becomes a mix of Ultramarine Blue + White, then Ultramarine Blue + a touch of Pthalo Blue + White. At the level of my brush I’m using Pthalo Blue + a tiny bit of Cadmium Orange + White. The darker blue close to the wall is the same mixture with less White. The Pthalo Blue mixes are much more intense than the muted Ultramarine Blue ones, making them come forward. This follows another simple rule that helps give the impression of depth in a painting: Intense colors come forward, muted colors recede.
The paint saved from the buildings lining the harbor is now used for their reflections. The colors are pulled down into the blue of the water. This dulls them just a bit, reflections are usually a muted version of the object making them. Then I begin working on the boats in the background.
After the distant boats and fishing nets are finished I refine the reflections a little more. Feel free to enlarge any of these pictures, just click on the image.
I love the warm glow of canvas sails when the sun is behind them. I use the shadow color left over from the clouds with just a kiss of Cadmium Yellow Medium mixed in to give the feel of the sun’s warmth.
The deck, seats and gunwales of the foreground fishing boat are painted with one of those special colors we use from time to time, Sevres Green. It makes a vibrant green I’m unable to mix with our Double Primary Palette.
Wouldn’t you like to jump on that sloop heading out of the harbor for an afternoon sail? Another sailor is raising his mainsail in the background, getting ready to join in the fun. Let’s run away! I can almost hear the halyards clinking against the mast, smell the salty sea air and feel the gentle breeze! Hugs, Mikki Senkarik
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