Friday, March 31, 2017

032317 S 18x24 Key West Boats Version 3

In two earlier posts I wrote about how I created two versions of the Key West Boat painting, one done with brushes and the second one, with palette knives.  I had another collector who loved the palette knife version of the painting.  Because the collector who originally commissioned the painting selected the palette knife Version 2, I painted Version 3 in palette knives for the second collector.  There may be a Version 4 with a rosy sunset sky for another collector but that will have to wait until I finish another commission project first, one of a flower scene.  I need a break from the boats, anyway, so I can come back recharged.
I start with a drawing on the tinted panel.  Whoops!  Forgot to take a picture before I started to apply the paint.  Oh well.  The darkest values in the painting are mixed from Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Red Medium.  More Ultra makes it darker. 
The roof of the shed is primarily Cadmium Red Medium tinted with Ultramarine Blue and touch of Cadmium Yellow Light.  A little bit of Titanium White is added to the Cad. Red/Ultra Blue mix to make the gray areas on the boats and the fish netting.  A rusty red is added to bottom of the boats and reflections on the water.
I mix Cerulean Blue and Titanium White for the brighter sides of the boats.  The rooftops are a warm peach mixed with white to contrast with the cool blues.  I did go back near the end with a touch of blue/red mix to tone the roofs down just a bit.
The ski is mixed from various combinations of Cerulean Blue and Cadmium Red Medium and Titanium White with a smidgen of Cadmium Yellow Light to create the clouds with a hint of greenish-grey stormy weather.  I paint in some of the color in the sky and pop some in the water at the same time.  I add in the reflections of the masts on the water. Sometimes I paint the sky and clouds across the masts and then go back and pull the masts back out in front.
I also paint in some of the warm peachy color into the clouds that are catching a bit of the late afternoon sun.  I know this is not the greatest photo(below).  Sometimes when I am working late into the night, the light (or lack thereof) screws up my photograph.  There is a reason I am a painter and not a photographer! 
One of the last steps is to scratch into the paint with a rubber tipped implement the rigging on the boats.  I also go over some of the rigging with paint applied using the palette knife.  I use the negative space (the sky) to make some of the ropes and rigging narrow again if they came out too fat. 
And the final painting!  "Key West Boats, Version 3", oil on panel, 18" x 24", Code #032317 S 18x24, c. 2017 by Charlene Marsh.  SOLD

Compare Version 3(above) to Version 2 HERE, also painted with palette knives.  Which do you like best?  And why?

This painting would be great to activate the area of the living space that represents one's Path in Life or Career. Boats represent a journey and, along with the blue colors and the squiggly, free form lines, hanging this painting in the front center area of a room, home, or work space will help to create an auspicious environment for a change in one's career, a promotion, a better job, or to achieve one's goalsBoats can also represent a spiritual journey and new possibilities going forward.  Feelings of being happy, content, having fun, and good memories are often associated with boats.

Thanks for following along!

Happy Trails!



  1. Love the boats! The palette knife adds a dimension the brush cannot. I am a very visual person.... can hear the water lapping against the side of the boat, feel the breeze, sun, seagulls. It transports me into the painting! Simply love this!!

    1. Wow! Thanks for the visceral description of how the painting transports one to another place and time. Not only are you a "very visual person" but a wordsmith to boot! I am so thrilled to know how the painting can activate a variety of senses. Thanks for sharing.