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Mysterious Aqua Blue and a Trip to the Sea.

Hello Again Friends!

I hope all of you are excited about the coming spring season on these 1st days of March!
It is just around the corner. It is the time when COLOR RETURNS in a wave over the earth.

Last month I had the pleasure of jump-starting my spring by going to the beautiful Caribbean. It is so different than gray Washington!
Blue has always been my favorite color but in this magic sea there are hundreds of shades of blue. I was delighted.

So in today’s lesson I want to discuss how to paint these striking colors.
Note…At the bottom of the blog is this weeks drawing. You are welcome to print it out and use it to try painting!



Look carefully. The aqua’s in this photo are even more vibrant because the are placed next to soft blue lavender grays and white. Below you will see the colors I use to make the turquoise blues.




Lively turquoise has a few surprising elements like the Pthalo Green and Turquoise shown above.
These are “Staining” paints. The Cobalt Turquoise and Cerulean Blue are “Mineral” paints.
To find out more about how these work you can watch my video…Watercolor washes on YouTube.




I created the grays with Cerulean and Sepia…but notice the stain turquoises under the dolphin.
This color placement is there to suggest a reflection from the sandy sea floor.




Notice the subtle light gray next to the shore. In nature this color is rare. It only exists at the seashore and in the stone Aquamarine.




Create it with turquoise and a tiny bit of sepia. Keep your washes very light in the
foreground and dark at the horizon.




The rich teals in the background are a mix of Pthalo Turquoise, Cobalt Blue and Sepia.
The wave reflection at the sea bottom is made by using a clear water wash over the area and
then placing the color strategically to leave some areas light.
I often refer to “Repetition and Variation” which you can see in the color of the Turtle.
She is repeated in the rocks and the water.




To add interest to the darker water hues I added salt. This creates crystal patterns in the water.
Practice salt washes just for fun. Use coarse and fine salt to see the difference and put it on your wash
before it dries but not when it is still overly wet.




Here you can see the same palette with a little Naples Yellow Added. Don’t use too much!
Now for the darker blues. You need Cobalt Blue and Prussian blue.



Tese items are my preferred standard tools.
Flat and liner brushes are my favorite. The bottle is to help with the initial pre-wetting of the water washes.
I have 8 ceramic palettes for all of my colors.



Every painted surface that I do begins with a clear water wash and then color is added. The lighter areas created by the clear water wash makes the highlights possible.
The Prussian Blue creates the dark under-shade with very thin cobalt towards the top.



Little details are added with my liner brush and white watercolor.



I have now added some cobalt blue to the underside of the Dolphin to create an even stronger reflection of blue from below.
Adding a thin wash over a preexisting one is called glazing.




The final painting has line details added and some bubbles to give motion.
May I present the new dolphin and friends titled…”So Happy Together!”
End of Class.




The trip was so good for me. I came home relaxed and inspired to try some new subjects from the seashore.
I don’t think there is anything more relaxing than the sea.
I hope you can visit it soon and come to know this truth…
“Just take me to the wonderful sea. It is Earth’s most potent remedy.”




Love and Happy Painting,  Jody








This article was posted in Interviews With Jody, Painting with Jody.
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