“Today’s weather forecast:  dry barren parched,  with a slim thread of a chance of rain.”

I  peer out the window, from the small airplane flying over the Australian Outback scrublands  – and look below to see this golden starkness.

Back in the studio,   I mix and paint with my watercolors. Bringing back to mind those recollections.  And Feelings.

Calling…. the scene back to mind.

watercolor landscape limited palette, daniel smith naples yellow, perylene green, debi riley watercolor art, beginner watercolor techniques, debiriley.com
Golden Landscape


Watercolors, Abstracts and The Outback

The Australian Outback seen from above is a glorious abstraction of nature.


Salt pan lakes, emerald and jade green ponds dot the area, winding river courses looking like webs and entangled root systems all make for perfect subjects…..  For Watercolor Semi Abstract Landscapes!


In my painting, the drought stricken golden earth is dominant.

With a small hint of sage green along a meandering, but dried up river bed.


And, the Green perylene watercolor paint is used subtly.





A Duet:  Colors Used

The two watercolors I used were Naples Yellow and Perylene Green.

A limited palette makes life simpler. Calmer.


By just using the 2 colors:

  • Creates unity through out;
  • there is no worry about  ‘mixing a bunch of colors;’
  • its much easier to achieve better  contrasts for beginners;
  • it creates mood and ambience;
  • it created a feeling of barrenness  I was aiming for.


  • Naples Yellow – Daniel Smith watercolor  (Pw4, Py25, Pr101)
  • Perylene Green Daniel Smith …..  (Pbk31)
  • I also quite like Winsor and Newton’s Perylene green, as well.




Watercolor Painting Process


  • The process of creating the abstract landscape was fairly fast and simple.
  • Its just a matter of timing the paint applications.
  • I need to be sure the Naples Yellow is still dampish on the paper when I put the green in.
  • I don’t want the Naples Yellow too sloppy wet. Nor bone dry.
  • That’s the ‘Fine Line’ I need to adhere to.



  1.    I applied Naples Yellow watercolor first
  2.    then tilted the paper, Slightly….
  3.     while applying the Perylene green.

Where they ran and blended together, they shimmered abit and had fluctuations in their tones.

This creates  a  very pretty variation of pattern and texture. Perfect technique for the semi abstract watercolor landscape I thought.





My motto is:

If at first go I do not get it “perfect”  nor  get it quite right,

I’ll just  have several more plays!

MORE  Fun!



I did several before this one happened. Some went crazy.  Some were too dry.

But this one… is just right.

It has a zen quality to it, that pleases me.

To be honest,  I was   very happy while doing the others  too as it is such good fun.





Additional Posts of Interest


These 7 previous posts  relate  to the post theme today.   If you haven’t already read them, please do!


Colors of Green i 

Viridian   green watercolors ii 

Watercolours Red Dragon …   Naples Yellow

Zen  Simply  

Zen of Art:  Taming the Dragon “perfectionism”

Monochromes  6 Reasons to use  them 

Power in the Limited Palette 





A  Beautiful  anonymous quote:


“The earth

has music for those

who listen.”





Watercolor Semi Abstract Landscape in  Naples Yellow and Perylene Green  illustrates how effective and powerful a limited palette of two colors, can be.