Wonderful Wednesday Watercolours – The Detours

watercolour ocean with palette knife, debiriley.com

Watercolour Wednesday again!  Fun and exciting, Watercolours are predictably unpredictable. With their own unique Quirkiness. Love them!

watercolour ocean with palette knife, debiriley.com
Watercolour Ocean



Watercolours Wonderful and Unpredictable

You just never know with watercolours, they seem to have a mind of their own at times. You tell them to go right and they go left!  And then you have all these Detours…   I’ll show you mine.

Watercolour Starting Out Plans

My initial idea was to use my palette knife to create a colour-filled, bold impressionist ocean scene that was loosely based on a couple of my older reference photos.   In my mind, I didn’t want ‘tired, wimpy watercolours.’   But rather, BIG and bold – wild tempestuous seas.

ocean photo
Ocean Reference



Watercolour painting Materials

Palette knife,  paint colours of cobalt, ultramarine blue, phalo green,  burnt sienna,  burnt umber,  buff titanium.  Watercolour papers –  Arches hot press and cold press.



Watercolour Steps, Processes  and Techniques

My first warm up. Hmm.  A bit wimpy. Not even close.

What happened?!  I used a Brush, for pete’s sake.  Where did that come from?

Watercolours, misbehaving!!

watercolour ocean shores, debiriley.com
The Ocean Shores


Ok. We’ll try again.    Got my palette knife this time, yes.

But, somehow was detoured by cobalt teal blue in acrylics.

cobalt teal blue ocean wave, acrylics, debiriley.com
Testing Cobalt Teal


Next. This is Better….. Watercolours were used with the palette knife.  I did a little bit of testing the prussian and white gouache mixture for an intertwining look of surf and waves crashing about.

But, you ask,  Where did Prussian and White come from? It wasn’t on your materials list!

Yes,  very perceptive.

If, you would have been in the studio as I was struggling along, you could have helped to remind me of these things. It really would have been a great help you know.

crashing ocean waves, debiriley.com
Crashing Waves

So, by this time, I’m definitely calling these “Warm Ups”…  I’m not ready to call them all flops and quit though.


Detours of Watercolour

These are Detours.   They are taking me on the “Scenic Route.”

I’m fine with that; its about the journey. Am I enjoying the process?  Yes…. well, so far!


Now number four, is again with my palette knife.  And it is Bold. Very Good. But, its in acrylics.  Apparently I seem to like these colours. I am repeatedly using them in the past few months – cobalt teal blue pg50,  indigo (blend)  with a hint of hansa yellow light py3.

Ocean lagoon, acrylics, palette knife, debiriley.com
Ocean Lagoon


Finally –   the last was done in all watercolours.

And With a palette knife.  Goodie.

Plus, it was on my hot press paper that was dampened down to allow the fully loaded knife to glide along smoothly even with globs of paint!

Now,  I’ve got a bold, impressionist, watercolour ocean scene, using a knife and its not wimpy…..   whew.


watercolour ocean with palette knife, debiriley.com
Watercolour Ocean


I guess my point here, is the painting journey  is an Adventure.

With a lot of Detours.

Just go along on the Scenic Route that watercolour takes you.

There are wonderful sights and discoveries on these pesky little Detours.





Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at society6.com/debiriley and, redbubble.com/people/debijriley/shop

29 thoughts on “Wonderful Wednesday Watercolours – The Detours

    1. Thank You!! Water can be hard or easy, sometimes it depends on the operator! If the operator is in a hurry, things do not work as well as one might hope. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi Debi, with your scenic tour description I felt like I was right there with you for the ride. Very interesting discoveries along the way. You have inspired me to try out the palette knife with my water colors. You are a trail blazer, leading the way in our painting quests!! Have a great day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hi Jodi, thank you for your generous and lovely comments! watercolours, painting, art, perhaps life in general ….. seem to have a few of those pesky ‘detours’!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So true! It’s all about the journey: the joy, the mistakes, the surprises, the agony, the ecstasy 🙂 Love your final image, and it’s definitely not wimpy.

    Liked by 1 person

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