The Ligurian Sea

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The mountains of the Italian coast are made with muted, cool colors. Several mixes of Ultramarine Blue + MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + Cadmium Orange + a tiny bit of Lemon Yellow + White. Colors remaining from the clouds are used to paint the distant town of Monterosso al Mare, one of the five villages of Cinque Terre. Please remember, as you read through my blog you can enlarge this or any of the other images by clicking on the picture.

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Here are the recipes for the ocean. #1. Ptahlo Blue + a little Ultramarine Blue + White. #2. A darker shade of mix #1. #3. Ultramarine Blue + White. #4. Three mixes in different proportions of Ultramarine Blue + MUD + White.

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The Ligurian Sea is an arm of the Mediterranean Sea between the Italian Riviera and the island of Corsica. This body of water is most likely named after the ancient Ligures people. The three shades of Mix #4, which are more muted, are used for the water farthest away. Painting forward I use #1 and #2. The darker mix, #3, is used directly under the distant mountains to give the impression of reflections.

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The tower of Castello Doria is painted while the background is wet. I brace against the mahl stick to steady my hand.

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The color of the Ligurian Sea becomes brighter and more intense as we move closer to the foreground. The closest water is made with mixes of  Pthalo Turquoise Blue + White. This beautiful color is manufactured by REMBRANDT Oil Paint.

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I’ve started blocking in the rocky promontory that supports the ancient castle. Then the beach below is roughly covered. Swirls of surf, rolling up on the beach are painted into the wet sand.

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Now the Ligurian Sea is complete you can see how following the simple rule of Muted Colors Go Back, Intense Colors Come Forward, works to give the impression of depth. Thanks for following along today! Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG

3 Responses to “The Ligurian Sea”

  1. Simon Says:

    Wow really looking forward to see it finished x

  2. pourgirl Says:

    I was wondering why you used a pre-mixed color for the turquoise rather than making it with Phalo blue and white or paint from your primary palette? As an artist myself, I find color mixing a bit confusing if I start adding more colors to my main palette and I try to limit to as few as possible. Is there an advantage to pre-mix I am not seeing? Thanks for your input. I love the bright colors of your work. My goal is to find the most pleasing colors for my landscapes that are unique to my work so I can establish my own style. My work is at if you want to see what I’ve accomplished so far as an amatuer artist trying to become professional.

    • Mikki Senkarik Says:

      I use the Rembrandt Turquoise Blue because it is a more intense, crisper, richer turquoise color than a mix of Pthalo Blue + White. It works especially well for my Santa Fe doors. I just can’t mix this color with our primary color palette. By the way, I like your paintings. Keep up the good work. HAPPY PAINTING, Mikki

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