Friday, February 24, 2017

022118 S 18x24 Key West Boats, Version 2

As I wrote in my last blog, I had a collector who wanted a boat scene painted in oils.  I did the first version with brushes and the second version, presented here, with palette knives. 
I started with a detailed drawing on a pre-tinted panel that I had made in advance.
Like in the first version, I mixed up the dark values using Cadmium Red Medium and Ultramarine Blue.  The rust red on the bottom of the boats used more Cadmium Red.
I added a touch of Yellow and Cerulean Blue for the backsides and shadow areas of the boats.  The dockside building was made with a mix of mostly reds and yellow with a touch of blue to tone it down.  I started working some of the middle values into the reflections on the water.  The red rust on the bottoms of the boats is worked into the water.
For the lighter, brighter sides of the boats I mixed Cerulean Blue with Titanium White.  For the highlights on the boat roofs and the edges of the boat I use mostly Titanium White with just a touch of red and yellow mixes.  The warmer highlights contrast with the cooler colors of the blues on the boats and in the water and sky. 
The sky colors were mixed with primarily Cerulean and White with the Cad Red and tad of yellow mixing in.  I am always cleaning paint off the palette and mixing it into the next batch of paint which helps create a unified, cohesive painting.  I always mix relatively small batches of paint and use it throughout the painting wherever it is required.
As I painted in the sky, I popped the color into the water as well.  After all, the sky is reflected on the water!  Sometimes the sky crosses over the masts of the boats and then the masts are pulled back in front.
The entire surface is covered and then details are added.  The rigging, the movement of the water, and the various values are all added and adjusted until I am satisfied.
"Key West, Version 2", oil on panel, 18" x 24", c. 2017, by Charlene Marsh.  SOLD

Thanks for following along!

Happy Trails!



P.S.  So which is your favorite between the two?  You can see the first version here.  I have my favorite but I want to hear from you first. 


  1. Definitely enjoy the detail of the second (palette knife). It feels a bit more rugged to me and that translates to the current of the water and lets me almost hear the water lapping at the sides of the boats.

    1. Thanks for your insightful comment. I like that visceral reaction where you can almost hear the water lapping on the boats!