Tag: ultramarine blue

…a few of my favorite things (palette knife & cobalt teal)

…a few of my favorite things (palette knife & cobalt teal)

I don’t think it comes as a big surprise.

Most of you,  probably felt certain you’d see cobalt teal blue pop up here!

As well as,  my handy PK1008 palette knife.



painting cobalt teal blue waters, impressionist palette knife technique, creative colorful seascapes, debiriley.com
palette knife and cobalt teal


Favorite Things in Art


For me,  both the palette knife and Cobalt Teal Blue …. are pure delight.


Providing such fun,  such joy in their use, that even if the painting doesn’t make the grade;  it doesn’t matter really, that much to me.

The simple pleasure of creating and using either one of them, often feels worth  more than what finishing off 20 paintings would.


We pay,

for enjoyment like that…..

We go to concerts, to the movies, go skiing.



Its on the least expensive side of Entertainment.

I think its  a relatively cost effective form of amusement that provides hours, of fun.



Cobalt Teal Blue –  CTB

The first image is a ‘bonus’  having used both the palette knife and CTB.


The process was fun, loose, easy.


Palette Knife

Dampening my paper prepared it perfectly for the knife loaded with color.

The paper,  was small.



Just  a  4 x 4 inch size.


And discretion is used.

Applying merely 3 paints with the knife.


With forethought;  and then complete commitment to the execution.




Admittedly,  often these days, I find my images are on the smaller side.

There are reasons for this.

They are easy for me to manage.

To pack  around. Easy to frame up.  Easy to mail off.



But I do seriously love to create on the large scale paintings….  6 foot and larger.

I itch to get the mural size canvases out.

And just let fly!



Maybe in Term 4,  if our Atwell Gallery group wants to have a bash, we will bring in 6 foot loose canvas to paint on.

That. Should be Fun!


cobalt teal abstract, debiriley.com
teal dreaming

Digital with Cobalt Teal Blue

This second image is a cropped version of a watercolor pastel abstract.

I have gone on to do some creative digital work on.

I  copied and mirrored this image.

I placed it into a large  window like matt to enhance a feeling of looking out a window, perhaps in a winter’s dream.




watercolor abstract, expressing feeling in art, debiriley.com
Solace… forms connecting

Solace in Watercolors

The third image, also has Cobalt Teal Blue splashed about!

With a wide ribbon of CTB  cruising through the back.


What I love about this watercolor painting, is the connection of shapes.


The sense of belonging they seem to create together,  a beautiful feeling of  Solace.


The bright white of the paper keeps the overall ‘tone’ from being dismal and dark.

And, thus it creates a warmer, more congenial sensibility to it that I quite enjoy.





I hope you enjoyed viewing some of my favorite things,  in art!




Watercolor Skies in Ultramarine, Cobalt Violet

Watercolor Skies in Ultramarine, Cobalt Violet

Wet in wet watercolors. Perfect beginners’ techniques to loosen up!

Let the paints, do their thing.  and You…. Allow,  accidents to happen.



watercolor skies, cobalt violet, wet in wet techniques, luminosity in watercolor landscapes, debiriley.com
watercolor’s horizons


Wet in Wet Technique

WHY I love showing and sharing the Wet in Wet Technique:


  • creates soft beautiful edges
  • its great for Depth, and backgrounds
  • helps to teach us about tonal values
  • we learn about color mixing, mud avoidance
  • helps us to loosen up, to lose the tight rigidity
  • fabulous process for creating a series of skies



Materials Used



Ultramarine Blue

2  Cobalt Violet

Both belong to the Granulating Category; creating sensational moody, atmospheric textures with their dense particles sinking into the deep hollows of the paper fabric.

By holding back, limiting my palette to two colors, I can be more confident that I won’t get mud.

That I will successfully get better tonal value ranges.

That the overall unity will be Great!



Arches Rough 100% cotton rag watercolor paper

Please note, this paper was  ‘pre-used.’

I’d previously painted on it.  However,  I didn’t care for it and so rinsed it off until nearly all color was gone.

You will still see remnants.

Ghost marks upon the page… I don’t mind these so called imperfections. 




Rekab #2 320s  squirrel mop brush



I chose Cobalt Violet to complement Ultramarine. It would soften the sky,  the cloud shadows.

It would create a sense of mood and atmosphere into the water to deepen the feeling of the painting.

It would help me, to communicate … More.


I paid particular attention, to making certain that I did not cover up all my white paper.

Especially in the areas that would help to guide the viewer’s eyes Inwards.


I jotted notes down to myself, ‘leave whites.’ 

Little post’its on my table, in front of my eyes, as I painted.



Writing notes,  giving myself  clear, sequential, Basic Instructions…. comes in very handy.

Because,  sometimes as I get to painting  – I get so enthused I forget things in my exuberance.

Perhaps, you do this too?



My Process of Working….

When I was doing this image, I set about it, like most of my other works.


I lined up about 7 -9 sheets of watercolor paper.  They are there, ready.



I need, to do this.

Or else I will over work, spend all my exuberant energies on the one image.

That is too much.

Too much color for just one paper.

Too many brush strokes, too much action, too much ‘energy’ for just one image.

It needs spreading out on several.


At what point, do I Move On?

When the paint on image #1 is at the ‘cranky’ pants stage (not dry enough, not wet enough)  to successfully accept more paint.

I move onto paper #2 and begin the next Technique.


Normally, I will do about 7, but there are times its less or much more.  With varying levels of ‘beauty.’

I save my ‘judging’ for the next day. Its a better idea I’ve learned.



And what did the other 7 techniques I did, look like?


Wretched, I say!!

But, of course, they are “resolvable.”



So, its alright, I’m good.







Splash, Spray, Create … in watercolors

Splash, Spray, Create … in watercolors

Deep ultramarine and hints of violet.

The explosions of light and color from stars and galaxies we will never see. Except, perhaps in our imaginations.


ultramarine blue pb29 watercolor, watercolor creative techniques, easy beginner watercolor ideas, texture in watercolor, debiriley.com
watercolor creative techniques


Ways With Watercolor

The magic of watercolor for me, is its ability to adhere so well to its specific pigment properties. It is obedient, reliable, consistent in the following of its nature.

Lending the artist a helping hand, with this knowledge.


A Granulator such as Ultramarine stays true to itself and creates wonderful textures upon the paper’s surface.

Stainers, like ….Permanent Alizarin Crimson will follow its nature. To run, explode outside the barriers.


I know what these ingredients, these pigments will do.  So then I combine them to do a job. To help me say what needs saying.


You could, in a way think of them as you do your cooking ingredients. Flour, sugar, honey, molasses, salt, vinegar, baking soda, milk, cream, lard, olive oil, coconut oil. Many times you could use any old oil or butter and it makes no difference.

But, there are times when the ingredient must be pure butter for the recipe to work.

For the result to turn out…. delicious.


Not just – passe.

Heaven forbid…  inedible.



It is the same with paints.

Many ultramarines are fairly exchangeable. No worries.  So too with phalo blue.  And quinacridone rose, phalo green, quinacridone gold, burnt umber.

I normally,  don’t specify a particular Brand for most,  routine colors.



Critical Importance to success

Unless it is crucial.

…..   like  it is with Indigo and Naples Yellow.

(Daniel Smith’s are successful.)

Its all in “the ingredients!”



I mention this today, as I’d talked about it a little last week in class.

I often try make do, make something  I have on hand, work.


Why go and buy something…. if I have a product that will do the job?

Many of us might have ended up with 3 crockpots, 2 types of knife sharpeners and have learned our lesson!

I’m with you on that, definitely.


Having said that, I’ve also spent 25 years buying thousands of tubes of paints.

Experimenting. Testing. Researching.   Every single one.

So, my hope is always, that you let all my “losses”  be your gain!   That you  learn from my mistakes and save yourself time and money.





Process of Splash and Spray

This was done on dry Arches 100%  cotton paper rough.

The paint colors used were burnt umber (Maimeriblu)     Permanent Alizarin Crimson (Winsor Newton)  mixed with Ultramarine (Art Spectrum)

So that is limiting the palette to 3 paints.    And,  I’ve used a  Cool Palette.   Doing both  of these are great tips to avoid, mud.



I used a spray mister to lightly mist the paper surface.  Choosing to ‘miss’ some areas.

Then loading brushes and flicking the paints on.  Misting again, as needed.

The Darker Ultramarine and Burnt Umber, I used an old toothbrush to scoop up paint and flicker it on as the paper was drying.

This allowed for the darker tones I was hoping for, to create more depth.


This is a fast, fun, easy, loose watercolor technique.   

Perfect to release tension, have some fun, create some exciting work and some of these can also be used later as backgrounds for other works.

The soft edges are particularily good for depth.




This is a non representational image, abstract.

It simply is a  watercolor technique.

An exercise to demonstrate limited palette using cool colors; and how using a Spray Mister can be an effective way to add depth in your future works.



A Walk, for Blue

A Walk, for Blue

Just a super quick post.

About a short walk, around the block and back.

A relaxed, amble, if you will.

Looking for things “Blue.”


blue flower photograph, zen stroll, relaxing nature walks, debiriley.com
Photo in blue – Wabi Sabi flowers

Blue Flowers


I did find lots of lovelies in wonderful shades and tones of blue.


Cerulean, Ultramarine, Prussian, Indigo, Indanthrone, Cobalt,  and tons of in between blends.

Its amazing just how many things are out there in Blue;  when you hunt for them.



The hunt didn’t take long.

Ten minutes to circle the block; at a slow pace.

Slow…. to make sure I didn’t miss out on anything!




Camera Information:

Canon Rebel 600D      Lens Canon Macro EF 100mm 1:2.8 L

ISO 100      shutter speed 1/640      Aperture  f4


On a side note… I really love using the apertures open.

The f stops at f5.6 or f4  f3  or less.

This,  creates soft blurred backgrounds.  

Medium soft middlegrounds too.    Only the Focal Point is sharp. 

Just the way I like it.      (For photos and for paintings.)




Going To The Beach

Going To The Beach

Going to the beach.  Feel like joining me? The water is warm, really!

Looking at the surf, the sand, the crashing waves. Relaxing…..

Strolling along, playing in the warm wet sand. My feet are wet,  and pants now soaked to the knees!

Just having some fun, down at the beach.


sea shore impressionist oil painting, moods of the ocean, conveying the essence and spirit, beach painting in oils, debiriley.com
going to the beach, oil painting


The Beach

It can be So inviting.

And then, so stormy, dark and rough.



evening sea tides, dusk on the sea, photo, debiriley.com
Evening Sea Tides


Always something New

So many faces of the sea, the beach, the shoreline.

Something new, something different every time.

No wonder we never become tired of going down to the beach.


I don’t go nearly as often as I’d like. It is a bit of a drive for me.

I should go more often though.




Plein Air

In a couple of homes, we lived just a few blocks away from the water.

Fortune smiled.  Lucky!!

Living so close to the water was a real treat for me and I would take full advantage of it, nearly every day.


That’s most likely  the origins  of my “Zen Strolls”  come to think about it.


That regular ‘zen’ experience of strolling the shores,  was certainly a period of time that has impacted my art.

These walks and their images are imbedded in my mind.

And, you probably can tell this, through the art I create and how I create it.





I think, this is one of the reasons I so strongly advocate beginners paint outside.

To paint from Real Life, from real objects.

Things that they can touch and feel.

Things that reach in and touch them.

Not to rely, depend, need, photographic references for every painting they create.



Touch the audience 

It is this way,  that the Spark, vigor and vitality of the subject  (whatever it is)  can be conveyed onto the paper or canvas.


If the artist has been touched and moved emotionally by the subject,

then they have a chance to create something that touches and moves the audience…the viewers.


Which is, of course my goal in painting.

To express and touch, to move the audience.


Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose.

But, I always have that as my destination.





Sea and Beach Images

Beach and Sea shore photographs and paintings showing the differing moods, days, feelings the sea and shore evokes in us.

The Sea and beach, for me its a bit of zen.   


indigo blue, naples yellow, cerulean blue, ocean coast painting, debiriley.com
Cerulean and Naples Yellow, Indigo     –     Along The Shores


indian ocean photos, debiriley.com
Indian Ocean in 4, debiriley.com





ocean waves in blue oils, abstract painting, debiriley.com
SeaWaves, at the Beach, oils (c) debiriley.com





Sea Foam in cobalt teal, photo Esperance W.A. debiriley.com
Sea Foam  photo



cobalt teal blue pg50, paints, ocean beach photo, debiriley.com
Cobalt Teal At The Beach  photo



Acrylics Impressionist Beach debiriley.com
Acrylics Impressionist Beach and landscape debiriley.com





sea waves green, glass bottle green sea, colors of the sea, photograph of waves, debiriley.com
Seawave Kalbarri, photo





watercolor ocean plein air, cobalt teal blue sea art, debiriley.com
watercolor sea



creative experimental watercolor techniques, watercolour abstract seas, blue lagoon painting, debiriley.com
Sea Coves, experiments in watercolor



Through the Trees Darwin debiriley.com
Through The Trees Darwin   photo




My Featured Painting “Going to the Beach”  was done in oils, on canvas.

The canvas size was 3′ x4′ it was large and fun!  I used a brush this time.






Calligraphic Watercolor

Calligraphic Watercolor

Watercolors are always on my mind.

They may not be my favorite medium, I don’t have one!

Watercolors don’t always suit my mood, nor suit the subject.

Every subject is different, and requires thought.  Insight into what specific tools, techniques, colors, design, textures will succeed in telling the story.


watercolor calligraphic abstracts, creative brush use, playing with watercolours, debiriley.com
Calligraphically…. watercolor


Affinity with Watercolor

Watercolors do lend themselves quite easily to the calligraphic approach.

They’re fluid like inks.  The brush I use handles similar to the Chinese types of brushes.

And Watercolor and I do have an affinity….Together.



Today’s abstract calligraphic approach with the brush, was directly inspired by

“mixed up media”

Toko Shinoda, and 



Calligrapher Nakajima Hiroyuki

Nakajima Hiroyuki, a contemporary working artist/calligrapher of outstanding skill and depth.


“standing in a meditative state over a blank canvas, and then when inspired….

Nakajima uses one sharp stroke of the brush to create the abstract form of nature: moon, soil, mountain.”  [2]


He explains,  the one stroke of a brush  is carried out with a single, condensed thought to bring about the forms and lines of a moment in time.[3]


Nakajima has said, “Every work of “Sho” is created in one continuous motion, and therefore cannot be repeated or re-written.


The power of “Sho” lies in this feature of non-recurrence.

Even if you draw the same letter ten times, ten different forms will arise spontaneously.”[1]





I find the process, of engaging the mind, soul, hand together – in swift and sure strokes to be a beautiful form of art and a beautiful form of peace bringing, meditation.




Fast and Fun

This was a fairly quick, very fun and relaxing painting approach.

The key was to not over think.

Nor to over load the paper with marks and colors.


But to simply keep it as clean as possible, for the biggest impact.


I did,  think and make decisive active choices.

Once the decision was made, I acted quickly with the brush.

Never once going back.

Even IF, I saw a mistake. A spot, a cauliflower. A “something not quite right.”





Directionals in Design

What I enjoy about this image (besides the Colors!)  is the design.


Directional Movement 

This simple abstract has vertical movement, horizontals and it also has diagonals.

I find when a painting combines these 3,   there is a sense of improved balance and harmony to the image.

That means, its less boring and repetitive than ….. all horizontals.


There are interesting shapes, great negative spaces to make things more interesting and the circular ‘color spots’  add visual interest too.

The variations of color within some of the marks you see, also keep things energised.






The watercolor paints used:

Ultramarine blue pb29

Winsor Lemon py175

Permanent Rose pv19


The warm yellow, looking like gamboge or indian yellow,  is simply winsor lemon with a tiny tiny pin drip of permanent rose.

The blood red, is permanent rose with a  wee ‘dash’ of ultramarine blue.


The paper used was Saunders 100% cotton rag Cold Press 300gsm

And I used my Rekab  320s   #2    Perfect, for the calligraphic mark making I wanted to do!




watercolor abstract with ultramarine blue, calligraphic watercolors, debiriley.com
squared format is interesting as well




I’m feeling Inspired!

Maybe I’ll do some fun, bold trees in watercolor next.

Maybe some glad wrap foliage; or experiment more with Daniel Smith paints… Serpentine and Zoisite.  I guess I’ll go find out now.








watercolor feeling… Serenity

watercolor feeling… Serenity

Yes,  this Impressionist Landscape is another watercolor  “re – do.”

As I paint, I find it relaxing to realise, Yes  we can return to our painting efforts later. Sometimes, much later.

We can change that painting and it can be improved.

Our painting efforts are not, “all flops and failures, and no good!”

I’m sure that this  statement will resonate with many readers, many of you who are just beginning your watercolor journeys and are often frustrated.

Take heart.  Tuck the painting into a little storage shelf or box.

For “Later.”




watercolor landscapes tree reflections, painting morning on the water using watercolors, creating mood with paint, debiriley.com
Serenity with Watercolors



There is Serenity

There is a peacefulness in knowing that sometime later, you will have the skills.

That in due time, you will have the knowledge to make the required alterations to a painting in order to showcase it to its full potential.


I don’t worry, or stress anymore about adding an image to my now quite large ‘Later’ box file.

I actually find it comforting.

Its my reserve box, full of bits and pieces, that I can select from at will when I want to paint, but not have to start right from scratch.




Later isn’t always procrastination

A secret…. The featured watercolor painting I’ve shown, was originally begun 10 years ago.



When we File our paintings  in the “Later” Box we might at first feel guilty. Or frustrated.

But,  this is not procrastination.


This is a valuable lesson in persistence, discipline, and self kindness.

So what if you end up with a box with 100 or 500  “later” images.

That only means you have 100 -500 opportunities down the track to try new resolution methods.




Recapturing the Freedom

Many times, those gathered from the “Later” box  are the ones that have the vigor, the passion, the freedom we can’t fake in our more recent works.

We can’t manufacture an authentic enthusiasm that doesn’t exist.

We may have been trying, striving too hard.  Trying to get a great painting.

Trying to get one that’s “Good Enough.”


Best to take the fresh painting with all its  many faults and do just a wee bit of tweaking, altering.

And allow the painting’s fresh youthful vitality & impulsive quirkiness, carry the day.




Perfection or Serenity?

Technical brilliance and perfection should not  always be the number #1  goal for our  art efforts.


We want the image to have spark, and Life.

And as we  know, life isn’t always ‘perfect.’   A painting effort, an artistic expression that reflects Life, gives the viewers something.

Something Real.


By showing an imperfection or two, we allow the viewer to actually feel more at ease. At home.

More calm, more peaceful, more Serene.


When something is pristine, without spot blemish or wrinkle,  ‘completely perfect’…. it tends to make many of us feel somewhat on guard.

We instinctively don’t want to do any thing  to  ‘mar’ that perfection. Nor to somehow ‘mess it up.’


We are not Serene …. in that environment.




watercolor contemporary landscape, cobalt teal blue pg50, abstract watercolor landscape, debiriley.com
Magical Mists  Burnt Umber Cobalt Teal Blue


Magical Mists watercolor with cobalt teal blue, cobalt violet and Burnt Umber.

This isn’t a “perfect” painting.

But even so, one can become lost within the branches, the textures, the subtle color transitions.

With the thin, lone sapling twisting from the marsh shorelines and the cobalt teal to insinuate sky and water… this is a very soft diffused painting.

Without technical brilliance.

But instead, it does have feeling.  It has a sense of magic and serenity that lures us in.    That works for me.



Pause when Uncertain

Back to the Featured Painting “Serenity.”

And so, once again, like the previous painting Magnolias this is an older painting.

Not new.  Not fresh off the press by any means!

But, because I had been  unclear at the time as to exactly what to do to make the improvements – I left it alone.

I put it aside.  Into my “Later” box.


Then recently, bringing it out for some alterations and remodeling.

With alot of rinsing, scrubbing and lifting to get the light back, I now feel pleased.

Now it has the emotion I wanted from it.

I feel…..  Serenity.




colors used

Burnt Umber PBr7  Maimerblue        burnt umber,  prussian blue, green earth    

Cobalt Violet PV49 Daniel Smith

Ultramarine Blue PB29 Daniel Smith

Raw Sienna PBr7  Maimeriblu



Learning Outcomes

  • limiting the palette;  3-4 paints really are plenty
  • watercolors can still be lifted off, even after 10 years
  • many so called failures, are merely efforts that are   “just not yet resolved”
  • with time, with experience, with dogged persistence, so many things can be resolved
  • cobalt violet mixed with ultramarine creates a great shadowy purple
  • for me, serenity holds more value than pure technical perfection