Midnight, Ink Stained Face of Watercolor

painting midnight in watercolors, indigo paint, debi riley art techniques, debiriley.com

An ‘Experiment.’ I love experimenting with paints!  Testing. Researching watercolor papers,  watercolor brands and colors, oils,  acrylics and mediums.

Its a surprise,  this rolling the dice.  Could it be an addiction?!

I’d prefer to say I’m on a Long, research mission.


painting midnight in watercolors, indigo paint, debi riley art techniques, debiriley.com
Midnight Watercolors, debiriley.com


Midnight,  Ink Stained Face of Watercolor


1000’s of color recipes, test strips and techniques litter my art studio.

I love the thrill of it.  And here is yet,  Another art technique experiment.

Testing some new color combinations and techniques. Pulling them together, for the sheer pleasure of it.

Simply, to see ‘what happens.’




Perhaps, I am  thinking about …. Midnight.







ink stained sky

the face of


beyond our grasp


galaxies winking mocking

magnets all the same


we seek    we gaze

at the ink stained sky

with its mocking twinkling

glittering lights



beyond our grasp






The Inspirations


I’m definitely thinking about Midnight.

Contemplating, really.  That is what art is.  Its about 80%  thinking and about 20%  doing.   We often act as if its the other way around though.


The Muse of Inspiration 

Perhaps my 1:30am early wake up,  counts as Midnight.

The sky was beautifully inked in lovely indigo, indanthrone and lunar black.

The Muse awoke me?  Maybe.  I was not amused at that hour. Nor, could I get back to sleep at all.

I was Up. For the day. Thank you, Miss Muse.




The stars  were certainly out.

They stayed out and  very bright and shiny.  I watched them until  they vanished into the predawn sky.   Its really odd the things you notice when you’re awake at those hours.

And as they vanished, I wondered what colors might I use to create the deep, near black.



As you might remember,  I am quite partial to The Neighbor’s glorious roses.

Glancing across to the neighbor’s side, past their fence, where their gorgeous rose garden lay. Basking in the full moon of the winter solstice.

It looked so intriguing their pale pink flesh set against the depth of night.



    3 Faces of  The Day,  Watercolors    had me wondering also.

Another…. Face to Watercolor?

How about Midnight… jolly good!

By this time, it was close to 4am,  and seeing how there’s no way I could go back to sleep then, I planned.  Made notes.  Recipes.

I think its great to make such good use of time awake, don’t you?!   ok,  so I am lying through my teeth.  I would much prefer to have been sound asleep.  But whats the point of whinging?  Thats what I thought!


I could easily do a post on Midnight.  I certainly have many, early pre dawn hours put in. Easy peasy.






Materials Used 


  • Daniel Smith  Indigo watercolor
  • Daniel Smith Indanthrone watercolor
  • Daniel Smith Lunar Black watercolor
  • Winsor Newton Permanent Rose
  • White gouache
  • Old toothbrush for splatter
  • Wooden skewer for lines
  • Saunders 100% cotton,  Cold Press  watercolor paper




  1.   mixed the background color to the right deep dark tone
  2.   tested this,  on a Saunders CP paper
  3.   having mixed a plentiful surplus,
  4.  painted a smooth, flat, even, solid, no lines,  wash all over
  5.  let it dry,  for   3-4 hours   til    ‘scratchy dry’
  6.  mix up the rose with white gouache
  7.  test it on the same test sheet above, Over the previous dark wash
  8.  see, there is a reason for Test Strips!
  9.  adjust the color/tone as needed
  10. use old toothbrush to fine splatter & large splatter
  11.  use skewer to draw into if desired
  12.  don’t fiddle
  13.  let dry
  14. start a Second image straight away, to Stop the fiddle urge


My 2nd Image,   Part II  of  Inked Stained Face of Watercolor will be upcoming later in the week… stay tuned.




Posts I Recommend as Follow ons


Midnight of Eidolon 

Indigo Blue, Prussian Blue, Gold paint using your imagination 

Indigo Blue, Indanthrone:  Blue paints   

Imagination   Filaments of Time and Space

Inspiration is Everything    






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

27 thoughts on “Midnight, Ink Stained Face of Watercolor

    1. thanks Mitza… Glad you like it!! enjoyed writing this. 🙂 will have to get some door photos, and talk about Omar soon… might really have fun with that post! lol

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Swoooooning over your “good fortune” to have this midnight muse opportunity and BRILLIANT creation! Thanks for giving up sleep and then sharing the wonderful amazing experiment and process with us! I love it!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lol, many kind Thank You’s Jodi!! I say, it all works out for good! my kids, get a bit scared now…. thinking, is she going to put THIS on her site?!! gosh, I really don’t know why they’d think that. do you? 🙂
      I’m very pleased that you enjoyed the post and the image today. Now, go, get some sleep……… cheers, Debi

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Debi, I so enjoy your posts! You just know how to make the best out of everything and then you go and share it with us! Oh Gollum wants to talk but I told him to shush. Love your painting and your processss. Yessss. Thank you for opening your pocketses and letting the brilliance show to your hungry studentssss. 💜💜💜💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks Amy! it all works together for good, somehow. and eventually. I may not like it at the moment. but the moment doesn’t last. Things could be worse. way worse. like your “midnight event”… there’d be no laughing then!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I had a completely different view of it (not the night sky so much as flowers lit up against the dark background). To me, it has an oriental look. This is one of the fun things about art. Everyone can interpret it in their own way.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. now that you mention that aspect… I too can ‘see’ it that way Annali! Yes, this is great fun! individuality. creative interpretation! amen… to that!
      Thank you for sending this, I can now look at the image a new way too 🙂 cheers, Debi

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Finding my way back, from depletion and weariness..That kind of dark fatigue.!!.I loved your Post, the midnight skies brightened me UP ⤴️ !!. I have been looking out at Midnight, these june days and marvelling at the beauty of the night ( !!) .. ( wondering, now how could these skies be painted?)..then, I saw your beautiful painting, Debi…Imagine that!!..The colours of LIFE, are returning to my gaze..Your talent to create inspires me..Dear Artist/ Teacher!!..Canadian Joanne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for such lovely comments!! so kind 🙂 Joanne, I hear you. seriously – I do. I get it. getting a post out, can be a major win… some days 🙂 anyway, glad to see you back!
      I love DS indigo, and indanthrone… ooh la la. so lovely!

      Liked by 1 person

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