Personal Art Blog

Sharing the lessons I teach at the Artist Guild and the personal discoveries in my art.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Sunset On The Bay - Blue and Orange

Sunset On The Bay
6"x 6" oil on canvas panel $110.
Purchase HERE

Artist Note.
I am still following 
the Guild's class assignment
of different color harmonies
This one is the 
Complementary one
I chose blue and orange
for mine.
Titanium White was invaluable
with the orange mixture. 

I mixed a pile with just a wee
spot of orange and that became my white.
 Transp Brown Oxide 
( a deep burnt orange)
took down the orange into 
the rich tones before.adding blue
to darken 
I used a coral
orange which can bend 
to the pink tones with a blue gray.
I used both a warm and cool blue 

Nita Leland's book,
Confident Color
has been fabulous for helping 
me understand all the different
color harmonies. The good news is that
Nita has a brand new book out,

I am excited to see it because her 
other books have been invaluable 
with helping me in so many ways.

 Hover over the North Light
block under the book and 
you will find a discount code.
She also has lots of free info 
and color charts to download.
A fabulous site!


  1. Hi Julie, what a great choice of subject matter and colour palette. I love the combination. When I initially started following your work, I used to think it appealed to me because of the variation in your colour palette (I myself was used to using a much more limited palette, and the beautiful colours in your work spoke to me.) But when I look at this painting, and when I read your notes, I see that the appeal goes way beyond that. It is all in the skill with which you handle your palette and in what I have heard you refer to as the "optics". This is a painting I can't help but be drawn into. I see hits of colour here and there, some of it blended, some of it not, and it really draws me in. I want to zoom in and look at the application and try to see what the colour really is comprised of in the various sections, and then I want to zoom out and see how it comes together, and repeat this as I make my way around the painting. I love the visual texture. I can almost feel the spray from here. Absolutely beautiful!!

    And thank you for the reference! I love the idea of colour exercises. That is my idea of a great way to spend an afternoon. The math nerds (a term of endearment and also a compliment in our house) are rolling their eyes. I need to remind them about how they do math exercises to hone their skills. It stands to reason that artists should do the same.

  2. This is a WOW of a comment. Thank you so much, Brenda. Coming from a teaching artist like yourself it means even more to me.
    I agree with what you say about math exercises and color exercises. Piano, singing, etc, anything where improvement is valued.
    I imagine the math wizards you brought forth into the world, appreciate your discipline to improve the paintings you do - and are very proud

  3. Hi Julie, what a wonderful mix of textures and lines. I really love that orange....
    Hope you have a great day.

    1. Glad you like it, carol. Thank you. I really enjoyed your little video of the olympian squirrel. We share a love of nature don't we?

  4. Isn't it wonderful and amazing that so much power and action can be reflected in a 6" X 6" format?! The restless sea, the crashing waves, the sculpted rocks make this fascinating! And, what arresting color! Thanks for the heads up on Nita Leland. I haven't spent enough time locating and reading topics about color! Now, I have an excellent reference! Thank you!

    1. I keep thinking of you and your explorations into painting. The new one is so striking and I wonder what you will do to follow it.
      A series?
      I have work in all three of Nita's books. She is broad based with her taste in art and it makes her books have a wide appeal. She really knows her stuff!

  5. Once again, I learn from you every time I open your email. Love the colors here, but also love how you explain how you use them. Thanks

    1. Thanks so much, Sharon. Wishing you many happy painting days doing the Challenge.

  6. This is gorgeous! I love all your shading in that wave...wonderful movement!

  7. A beautiful new group of paintings, Julie! I always enlarge your paintings so I can study the textures and paint application. I always marvel that you can use so much paint and color and organize it into a cohesive jewel. Also appreciate your writing about your process. Love the florals and watermelon, too!

    1. Thanks for such a great comment, Lorraine. I really appreciate it.
      It was stimulating to see the portrait you did. The technique suits your eye for great edges and colors.

  8. full of so much movement and energy! :D

    1. Glad you see the energy - I moved my whole arm with the palette knife to get that upwards whoosh!
      Neat sketches of the whisk and can opener. Did you count the wires of the whisk?

    2. lol no, I probably missed drawing a few of the wires lol

  9. You are not afraid of colors Julie!!!! This is fabulous...when I zoomed on it you can see the beautiful texture as well! Love this painting!!!! ❤️

    1. Sometimes I am afraid...when I get into the complex harmonies and my brain starts swirling! Thanks for visiting, my friend. Hope all is well. ADORE the eagle.

  10. Beautiful everything Julie!!!Will check out the link, thanks for sharing the book!

    1. Good to hear from you Celia. Your poppies are so rich. I love the way you use watercolor in a vibrant way.

  11. Replies
    1. Appreciate that - thanks Mona. I enjoyed seeing the cards you make.

  12. Terrific dynamics and challenging palette. I might pick up a useful tip or two here and try the orange with the titanium, as currently my Arab in mono isn't working. My combinations of the white and mars black are coming out in a cold blue. The orange might give me a warmer range of white for the skin. (and me a pen & ink man talking paint ... whatever next?).

    1. I enjoyed seeing your portrait. Yes, mars is a cold color but you are using umber and that warms it up. A tad of orange into the umber first should help, yes. Looking forward to seeing it finished.

  13. What a wonderful demonstration of complements. One thing we learn in my art class is to explore all the wonderful greys that can be mixed from complements. This painting holds it all. The gorgeous blues and oranges,along with every grey imaginable from that combination.So much to see. Lovely and interesting.

    1. Thanks, Helen. Yes the grays are wonderful mixed from the complements and certainly so is the use of a gray from black and white. Just depends how you use them, right?
      I am really enjoying your color studies and the last one is a total winner!

  14. Well, Julie...I've been sighing and oohing and ahhing as I scroll through each of the most recent posts. Absolutely fabulous works you've painted/posted!!!! I love them all!

    1. It has been a long time Sherry but your interesting post explains all. Congratulations and much happiness always.

  15. Congratulations Julie for the very wonderful seascape painting !!!


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