Tag: oil paintings

Beautiful Jade Emerald Greens in Oils

Beautiful Jade Emerald Greens in Oils

Lovely fun greens slathered on like butter. Swirls and dollops of emerald and jade colors rising in relief on the canvas.

Now, that’s what I’m talking about!

Pure enjoyment of the process.

dollops of oil paint filled with texture, creating contrast in paintings, green oil paints, debiriley.com
Dollops of Paint, calm and busy


Textures in Oil Paints

No barn. No flower. No tree.

No, there’s nothing much to ‘see.’

That is, if I was inclined to be picky, critical.

But that’s not how I’m seeing these at all.




oil paints in greens, green abstract oil painting, jade emerald green oils, debiriley.com
Oil Paints in Beautiful Greens

Lively and Alluring

They’re lively.

So beautifully textural,  it makes me wish for a moment,  that I was a sculptor.


The freshness has a lure.

A pull to it that none of my oh so  labored, overworked and  “over finished”  paintings  will never have.


oil painting abstracts, palette knife with oils, limited palette color schemes, debiriley.com
The Horizon





Where it Began


Before I started, I’d looked through some of my past nature walks.

Zen Strolls.



zen in greens, sparking the imagination, oil abstract beginnings, debiriley.com
Its Zen, gorgeous greens

My eye kept returning to the reflection from the pond. With those gorgeous deep greens.


Thats how I started.

With a thought.  With a feeling.



A color in my mind that sparked creation.


photograph of water reflection abstraction, debiriley.com
Movement on the pond


Playful Rebellion

It is so important, to create.

To play. To explore.


To take the time to engage in the process without any preconceived needs.   

We all know that old saying,

“All Work, No play … makes Jack a very dull boy.”



Its so important that we don’t take an activity we’d  intended for our relaxation, then turn it into  A Work Project.

With timelines,  goals, deadlines, ‘good enough’ ratings,  etc.


Nearly all of us, do it, myself included!

If we think about it though,  we don’t do that same thing when we:  read a magazine, or watch a TV program, or go to a concert, play or movie.


I know we all have that tendency to turn Fun – into Work.

Its been ingrained over the years hasn’t it?


I choose to   not want to go that pathway.

Thats not the road I want to travel.

A bit of ‘rebellion’  if you will.



I’m not a full time rebel.

I rebel when….. I think about it.


Every zen stroll, Every art work…. is an act of peaceful rebellion.


So, my walks are peaceful, beauty filled,  zen strolls.

There is zero aerobics involved.

I get fresh air.

I’m creative,  filling the well.

I stroll about for 45 minutes. Sometimes more, others less.

It is so relaxing, even if its a mere 10 minutes.




oil painting abstract textures, palette knife with oils, mixing green paint colors in oils, debiriley.com
In Luscious Jade Greens, a hint of naples yellow



And my art is created as the mood and spirit moves me.

I’m not going to be pressured, or dictated to.




Its always more about expression and communication of feelings, than replication.

Recording, duplication just isn’t my thing. Thats me.

I’m certain, that the art could be more popular if they were more  Just Like the photograph. More realistic and less abstract.  And….Bigger.


But I don’t Create for reasons other than to simply express outwards, to communicate what I hear and see and sense in the world around me.

As I feel led to do, my own unique way.


That’s all anyone can really do, I think.

Tell it, like you see it. 

How you see it, is different;  

it is interesting.  To Us.    


green falls abstract painting in oils, debiriley.com
Green Falls, in oils


Artistic Authenticity

when I see your art,  or you see mine,

I want to see your tears as they fall, your dance of joy, your bursts of summer sunshine, your silence on the shores, your dark rage upon the paper,  I want to see the truth of your thoughts and emotions come tumbling out in color and textures and etched lines on that canvas.  I want to see for a micro-moment, a glimpse of that beauty that resides within your soul.


Will you do that?









Sea Sirens ll  – Into the Deep Blues

Sea Sirens ll – Into the Deep Blues

Resist? I don’t think so!

Not many can ignore the promises she makes with her gorgeous sea greens, as they flash into deep near violet ultramarine.


seascape abstract in oils, cobalt teal blue, ultramarine blue, painting the sea, debiriley.com
Sun’s Light plays across the waters


Sea Sirens: Ultramarine, Cobalt Teal Blue

The Sea.

She, is a Sea Siren and I’m as pulled into the deep as everyone else.


These colors, ultramarine blue and cobalt teal blue, are my most irresistible lures.

I look. Look again. And relax into the waters.

From the serene shallows out all the way into the far depths out of the sea.


There is something – about these two.

These beautiful, Sea Sirens.


impressionist oil painting, abstract ocean in ultramarine blue, ocean beaches and shores, debiriley.com
Sea Sirens, cobalt teal and ultramarine blue



Being Present

Both of these images, (Above and Below)  I zoomed right in on the painting.

Focusing on that gorgeous textured weave of the canvas.

Blurring off the front and back.

So that it mimics, it ‘appears’  that the only thing present …..

is   This Moment In Time.    


no past, no future, just the now.




As I was sitting on the dunes, my eyes drawn out to sea – it was fabulous to “be in  that moment.”

Watching surfers, as finally they captured their prize.

The perfect cresting wave in….  “That singular Moment”  they’d been searching for.


When,  absolutely every thing is in exquisite balance and harmony.


This what I was trying, to convey here.




Capturing …The Moment




Digital Art, Fun Verse

This was a quick, and fun little play with verse in formats and designs.

It was only on the computer… so I didn’t actually spoil my painting!!


The vertical design, I liked.

I thought that making the second phrase a smaller text, enhanced the atmosphere, the feeling of being drawn in.

Of being Lured into the deep.


sea sirens, oil abstract, ultramarine blue oils, cobalt teal blue pg50, painting the sea, debiriley.com
Lured …into the deep



Snippets –

I chose several views of the painting to show today.

Thinking to provide mini glimpses into the quirks of the sea.

She has many faces and so many moods.


I’ve taken huge leaps of artistic creative license.

I’m allowed. I am the creator…of this piece of work.


Its an interpretation, an expression, it is not a literal duplication of the scene.

Lucky me, I have my camera for that!!


No, the painting was from the spirit.

A Dialogue of expressing the moods.



Materials Used 

Oil paints

ultramarine blue pb29

cobalt teal pg50

White pw6

prussian blue pb27    (I used only a minute ratio of this at top, about 4% with the ultramarine blue)

The golden sienna you see was part of my backdrop I chose, not paint.


I used a 24 x 36 canvas   with some old (ratty) brushes. For the most part, the paint was applied fairly thin.

And brushed right into the canvas fabric. 

I like the Textures of the canvas showing through once the paint was on. The paint thinly applied helped ‘illuminate’ this feature.




Discover more, Sea Siren colors

Part 1  Sea Sirens  

Ultramarine blue  BOLD Beauty

Ultramarine blue pb29 tips

Cobalt teal blue  reflections

Cobalt teal blue ..addiction

Cobalt teal blue summer in my soul



Sea Sirens – Ultramarine and Cobalt Teal Blue

Sea Sirens – Ultramarine and Cobalt Teal Blue

I’ve been lured. By the sirens of the sea.

Glorious deep ultramarine blue with a whisper of violet you have to know is there to really see.

And then,  there is my magnificent so enticing,  cobalt teal blue.

I’ve been to the sea. The Indian Ocean, and she wants me again.



ocean dunes along the Indian ocean, western australia, debiriley.com
dunes along the shores



i walked the sands

played for awhile upon the shiny damp salted shores


i gazed into the sculptures she made

those sea forms that rose, created from sea foam


exquisite in shape and form and loveliness


sea foam at the beach, photography nature, debiriley.com
Sea Foam Sculptures in the sand


i sat for a fleeting afternoon

warmed upon the dunes


i shot a thousand shots

to try, to capture that millisecond


that transcendent moment in time



surfing in Perth, Indian Ocean photographs, seascapes in ultramarine and cobalt teal, debiriley.com
Playing upon the siren’s wave


i left the bewitching tempestuous seas

returning home nearly wrung dry


i painted the immersion of what i felt

and all the while


that deep tapping, that inner knowing


the sea sirens of ultramarine and cobalt teal blues

would lure me back



Indian ocean photographs, beach and surf, debiriley.com
Out to Sea



I will finish with the second half in the next post.

In that post you’ll see my creations from the sea, in painting form …. abstract style, in oils.




Add Excitement with Texture!

Add Excitement with Texture!

Has your art become staid?  Too flat? Too predictable?

Change it up!

Add excitement to your painting life with luscious Textures!


creating texture in oils, oil painting tips for depth, textural effects in foreground, debiriley.com
Its All About Textures….          #1



Exciting Oil TEXTURES

Why oils?

To change it up, of course!  I’ve been using watercolors in a much higher ratio than anything else in the past few weeks.

Time for a brief break.


Oils are quite thick, providing ample ability to create near sculptural like texture.



I would need to use other techniques to create my textural effects with Watercolors.

ie  Watercolor Texture 

creative texture 

touching the mountain 



The Mindset

To keep the ‘excitement and joy’ at the optimum level, I maintained my attitude of Play.

Reminding myself, many times, that I am learning.

That I am playing. Silliness IS Allowed. 

That I am allowed to just explore the paints today.


This way, I can lessen the need for a finished product.   Sometimes,   the inner mind has one in store regardless, and it just emerges.

I enjoy these aspects of painting and having experimentation days….. I never know what Might Happen!


oil painting landscape with textures, impressionist oil landscapes, painting tips in oils, debiriley.com
Textures in Oils, smooth and rough       #2



Painting Materials

lush texture in oils, adds excitement to art, create depth with textures in oils, debiriley.com
Have FUN…….   Creating Sculptural like  Texture in OIls         #3


I chose to use a brush for my experimentations today in oils.

I wished to achieve the dragged, rough lines, the sweeping gestures, the short choppy motions that can be conveyed by using the brush.

I confess I did not use a regular art brush.

Instead,  used a small used, old housepaint brush.  A horrid little stiff brush….. which was really ‘just right’ for helping my create those textural effects in oils!

The surface was a canvas paper, relatively inexpensive. Perfect for a plethora of practice!



My Purpose

The goal was simply to create as much textural effects as I could with the brush in 2-3 colors.

To make the texture stand out more effectively, I need to remember to have plenty of calm, smooth, flat planes of space too.   We know if we have too much action going on all at once, the impact is lost.  Its the same as using color. Too many colors “bright and bold” all over,  are not as effective as One Bold Color set amidst a field of calmer, ‘subordinates.’


In other words,  we need to plan,  and then create a delicate Balance of Calm to Busy.

A very simple, rough beginners’ tip for that……  I suggest about  2/3  Calmer and 1/3  Busy.  

Feel free to play with that ratio.  It depends upon what mood, what feeling you are trying to convey to the viewer, too.  If you want an ultra serene vibe, nearly ‘naptime’ then try for 7/8 Calm  and 1/8 Busy.

Or if you specifically Want the viewer to be in chaos mode…. choose a very high ratio of Busy.

Perhaps 3/4 Busy and 1/4 Calm; and certainly the 7/8 Busy and 1/8 Calm would do the job.




creating focal points in paintings, texture and detail on center of interest, impressionist oil painting with figures, debiriley.com
Figures in Oils          #4


Location, location, location

Where does Texture really belong?!


We want to add excitement.

To get out of the rut, out of the same monotonous pattern and  enliven our art.

Usually, my autopilot mind thinks first of using Color.

Color will do it.

So too will Texture.



But wait.

Where…. does “Texture”  belong?

What are the appropriate corresponding locations in your paintings?

Where should the most and the least go?  From the background,  middleground, foreground to the focal point?

What is the secret, the hint we can all use to help us out?




Generally Speaking,

we want to place the Most detail and Textures on the Focal Point.

Next (usually)  is the Foreground.

Then the Middleground gets less details/textures.

The Background normally receives the least amount of attention, details, textures.





Because as things recede further away from our eye, they become gradually more subtle. More indistinct. They are more blurred, faded, flatter in tonal value, with nearly no details nor textures left for the eye to see (at that Distance.)

This, is something every new artist really needs to jot down on their easel.  So that they see it. Every time they paint!


It confuses the eye, when Every Thing is in focus and has so much detail/texture going on.

When the focal point, the foreground, the midground and the background  all have nearly equal amounts of detail and texture……. our eye is confused about the Depth and Perspective.


textures in art techniques, debi riley
Fabulous Textures  oils      #5


With all of these examples, #1-6,  it was all about trying to create Texture.


In #1  The brush marks seem to gouge through, leaving deep valleys and streaks. With the peaks creating shadows upon the surface.

#2  The look was much smoother, calmer. A high ratio of Calm. With the Foreground have the primary area of textural effects.

#3 A wild medley of sculptural effects. Thick layers plastered on over the top of previously textured areas. Wild.

#4 A fun little testing strip area, practicing figures. The Figures being focal point they received more textures than elsewhere.

#5 Brushing the oils on, then smearing with a piece of paper and lifting to create this look.

#6  lots of tree foliage texture,  image from prior post but changed now into a long horizontal format


With the exception of #6  all the samples were absolutely ‘process’ based vs ‘product’ based.

#6 I wanted Texture and a landscape painting.    The others were great fun and very informative for future work!

oil Textures, impressionist oil landscapes, cobalt teal blue, debiriley.com
Texture in oils  with a pleasing  calm to busy ratio                   example   #6





Skies Above

Skies Above

Very Simple… in design.  Full of Atmosphere and dialogue.

I find it calming, serene and relaxing to look upon.

Relaxing. With just the merest hint of energy in the deep waters, to prevent any boredom from setting in.


landscape in oils, contemporary oil painting, abstract in ocean blue, cerulean sky blue, debiriley.com
Skies above, oil painting


Skies Above

I wonder.  If more of us painted, more of us drew, more of us tended our gardens, more of us wrote poems and stories, if more of us Created from the artist within….  wouldn’t  it all  be a much better world.


I look at the skies above

and wonder.





The Process of the Painting

For Skies Above, I used a canvas with an pale lilac undercoat, painted beforehand.

Choosing a Cool dominant theme. Giving the sky a higher ratio of space in the painting, about 2/3 roughly.

I thought this would assist in the communication of   “skies and looking Up at wide open spaces.”


My oil paints in blues were indigo, prussian, cerulean, ultramarine… mixing them together as needed.

White was required for balance and for tonal contrasts, and depth.

I allowed some of the pale lilac undercoat to be revealed.

These hints and glimmers, add to the depth of the painting.

I chose, to have the deepest most intense dark at the lower left corner.

As if, we are there and then our eyes  are swept up to the horizon and further, up into the cerulean & lilac sky.

I made choices.




The Masters knew.
  • Tell a story.
  • Make each brushstroke count.
  • Don’t waste effort.
  • Don’t fiddle about.
  • Know what you want to communicate, then set about to do so.


acrylic ocean 1 brushstroke debiriley.com
The Ocean….with  1 brushstroke (from Banish Boring Brushstrokes 2) 


The Masters made choices.

We can learn from the Masters. We  certainly can choose to use that knowledge to improve our own, unique and original paintings.

We can practice until we improve!



The Masters knew…………

Banish Boring Brushstrokes,  make every brushstroke count!  


Banish Boring Brushstrokes 3 Tips  Part I    


to dream of skies 





How To Enliven a Dull (boring) Subject

How To Enliven a Dull (boring) Subject

Boring Subjects!  All artists have times when faced with rather dull and boring subjects. And this photo Qualifies!

It could be that one shot you were able to get of your trip to Mt. Fuji was grey and murky, not really in focus.

Or the flower arrangement you’ve set up just isn’t very exciting today.  Maybe you’re at the beach to paint and the day has just gone flat.

how to turn dull boring subjects to lively, making a subject come to life, abstracting a scene, big loose abstract oils, landscape in oils, debiriley.com
Turning Dull, To Lively


Boring, but with …possibilities

I don’t know why,  but it does happen, and the subject you chose is less than stellar in your eyes.

You could quit. You could, but you don’t. But you are very frustrated!

Its happened to me. Often enough for me to have figured out some techniques to make things Appear Different, to look better than the reality.

I’m going to share what I do to help make the subject brighter, more ‘engaging.’    To work around the boring bits and Livening Up the lovely parts.

Saying goodbye to boring and hello to Lively.




Number #1

  1. The first thing I remind myself:  I am the artist, the creator of this art work.
  2. I am the one to choose everything about it.
  3. I can do with it, exactly what I choose.
  4. In no way am I required to paint exactly, precisely what is there As It Is.  No.  I am free to change things.
  5. I am the artist, creating or altering just as I choose.



how to turn dull boring subjects to lively, making a subject come to life, abstracting a scene, big loose abstract oils, landscape in oils, debiriley.com
Turning Dull, To Lively



The Landscape Photograph

The photograph of the sky, the rock quarry and the cliffs white and colored.

Its not a great shot. It is very dull, out of focus,  with no focal point and poor design.

As with many ‘happy snaps’  this too was taken in a big rush with an automatic point and shoot.

Just about everything design-wise is awry.

However, I am very drawn to those cliffs that are so white against the deep sky.



5 Alterations To Liven It Up

  1. Cropping and changing the design format
  2. Changing the saturation, the boldness of color intensities
  3. Erasing details where I don’t want them
  4. Changing the colors as I choose to
  5. Placing the main emphasis and Focus, where I want


I’ve cropped and altered the photo several ways in order to get a feel for what might be  possible solutions.

The computer is really a great tool for this kind of thing.  Playing around with saturation, tones, design etc……  before the paints come out.

It doesn’t mean that I am definitely going to use that design,  but it gives me additional Ideas.   I like that.



This was one of the ones I came up with.

The format now is a long vertical, with the sky so much stronger than the original shot.

Its still divided a bit too much half and half though, which is not good at all.


I’m liking that deep sky, wondering how to really emphasize it a lot more.

The foreground is proving too much of a distraction. It has to go.




If the reality was a bit boring, spice it up

I’d like to focus more on the whiteness of the cliffs.


In the photo, you can’t see this.

But I had walked right up to them.  And some of them were so dazzling white, it was beautiful.

The photo of the cliffs from the distance shows them being quite orange all over.

But you can see in the foreground the color and tone is very much of a light pale buff and white.

This. Is what my artist’s hand and mind wanted to zero in on.


making changes to an art subject, how to use photos as art references, landscapes in oils, abstract landscapes, debiriley.com
Making Changes, creating… something fresh!


I’ve formed a  loose and vague plan by now.

Its loose and free, and one that I feel comfortable making changes as I go, if thats what is called for.

My Idea is to create a nearly all white about 80%  for the cliffs.

Then to  pack a punch with the sky,  in a very little amount of space left (20% of the paper area.)  We will see what happens.


painting landscape abstract in oils, neutral palette, cerulean blue pb 35, blue sky abstract, powerful skies, debiriley.com
White Bluffs, Blue Sky abstract in oils


The Painting

I’ve used a limited palette (white, umber, sienna and cobalt) in oils on medium sized sheet of oil paper.

I suggest,   that about every 3rd brushstroke,  you return to the 5 points of  Number #1   and repeat these to yourself.

I do.   It Helps!


The Brushstrokes were kept fairly big, loose and sweeping.

Trying not to get bogged down in minute details, but to allow the design and movement of the work to create the energy.




I confess I was……. thinking of a few artists whose work I love.

Edward Seago.   John Olsen.  Fred Williams.  John Coburn.  Arthur Boyd.    John Singer Sargent.




Toko Shinoda.

“The air in motion, my heart in motion.”    A beautiful quote by Toko Shinoda.




Mastering white space in your paintings   –  Toko Shinoda

John Olsen 

Fred Williams 

Abstracts  a definition 






The Colors of the Flinders Ranges (oils)

The Colors of the Flinders Ranges (oils)

Color, color, color…. and memories!

My  10 day adventure to The Flinders Ranges, 1993 was long ago,  but in my mind –  it seems more like just a year or two.


impressionist oil landscapes, colorful landscape paintings, Flinders ranges, art trips are fun!, debiriley.com
Colors of the Flinders Ranges (c) debiriley.com


Flinders – Filled with Color!

I can recall the landscape, textures, heat, wind, flies, storms and all those bold,  glorious colors instantly.  Its been etched in.

The sunset colors of naples yellow, mountains of lilac,  tree foliage of silver and cobalt teal, earth the color of rust and amber.

My word, I was spell bound.




The Trip

The art trip by bus, was organised by a Melbourne group,  ‘friends of friends.’  This was a first for me, never having travelled by ‘bus’ before.  I learned a lot.


The leader, an older woman had ashes to scatter in the mountains. Her artist/teacher husband always loved to camp and paint the Flinders when he was alive. The ashes were peacefully and beautifully scattered in a lovely natural setting.

The wind captured the dust and carried it up and away.

I thought this was going to be morbid, so I almost chose not to go on the art trip at all.  I bucked up and went.  Trip of a lifetime and I knew it!

But it wasn’t ‘morbid’,  not at all.



Immersed into the Subject

I took hundreds of photos and dozens of fast color studies and sketches. But mostly, all I wanted to do was to immerse myself into the landscape so deeply that I’d always remember it.  I walked more than the others, even in the stifling heat. With the crazed hordes of mean flies.


You may ask to see the reference photo for my painting.

I didn’t use one.

I closed my eyes for awhile;  and remembered.  I know that I didn’t document an exact location ie the corner of Gum road and Sage drive, right next to Dogleg Bluff.



That’s not my thing.   I want…….  Color.

I want ……. Feeling!

Thats all.  Thats really all I need from my work.





The Painting


This is done in artist quality oils, painted on oil paper.

I used naples yellow, white, quinacridone gold,  permanent rose, ultramarine,  cobalt teal blue.


I wonder if you can tell me where I ‘broke’ the rules…. and why?!

Many of you have been reading my posts for awhile, and will see a couple of things in this painting that does not follow the general guidelines I outline.  Can you spot them?



Let it go – and enjoy

I enjoy this color filled impressionist painting of the Flinders Ranges.

I loved being there.  I loved painting it.

Its not a masterpiece, a perfect painting.  Thats ok.

I enjoy the looking at it.


We don’t need for something to be perfect,   or to behave,   or to do what we had in mind for it to do – in order to enjoy it as it is.   So I have discovered.




*And Readers,   Thank You for reading.  For following, for sharing & caring.  I am grateful.