Painting a Rocky Coast: Palette Knife Tutorial

In this tutorial I’ll be showing you how to paint an awesome beach painting with palette knives. I will be doing an exciting rocky coast!

So let’s get started.

The colors I’ll be using are:

Titanium White, Pthalo Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Turquoise, Cadmium Yellow Light and Medium.

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To begin, I’ll take a bit of Pthalo Blue and Ultramarine Blue and mix them with Titanium white. This will be our sky color. It will be pretty light with this painting. The masking tape just helps us keep a straight line. This will be where the sea meets the sky. Pretend that you are buttering toast! That is the best way to use palette knives!

 

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This will be our land. To get that atmospheric color, we can add the 2 blues with some Burnt Sienna and white. Remember to keep this relatively cool (blue), as cool colors recede and warm colors move forward. This land is in the distance.

 

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I wanted the land to curve a little toward the viewer, and I also added a light earth color to the hills in the background. Make it look like trees and rocks. We will go back and add more detail later. Let’s just get the canvas completely covered with our underpainting. The ocean color on the top can be achieved by mixing Turquoise with Pthalo blue. For the bottom part of our sea, simply take that same color and mix in a bunch of Ultramarine.

 

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Bring the two blues together like so. The bare part of the canvas left over will be our sand and also some Tussock grass on a hill.

 

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For this sand color, we need to mix several different colors together. The majority of the mixture will be white, but we will need to add in some Burnt Sienna and a speck of Ultramarine. I also added in some detail to the hills in the background by adding pine trees. These won’t be green like we normally see them because they are far away and there is a lot of air in between. So keep the green very gray and dull.

 

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Here we can start blocking in the grassy hill in the foreground with some an Olive green color, mixed from Cadmium Yellow Medium, Burnt Sienna, white, and Ultramarine. Whenever I add in Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna, I am graying down the mixture, as those two colors together create black. I also scraped the paint off of the canvas to add in our rocks. This is the great thing about palette knives. You can scrape paint clean off, although the paint will leave behind a color stain. But that’s A-Okay!

 

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Here I finished out the details for the rocks in the ocean. I added some moss on them and also added some light and shadow, which makes them “pop.” Remember that there will need to be shadows behind them in the water as well. For the hill in the foreground, I added some bright greens and shadows as well to give the illusion of uneven terrain. I also added in some waves in the ocean with some teal. I like to use a thin narrow palette knife for details like that. There are all kinds of different knives you can buy with different shapes and blades.

 

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And here is the finished painting!

I decided to make the big rock a sea arch by scraping out a hole and filling it with our ocean color. And for the waves, you can use white straight from the tube, as these are shining in the sun. Just glob on the white with the tip of the knife to makes the waves. And have fun with this if you decide to give it a whirl.

Palette knives are amazing to work with!!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Don’t forget to check out my online shop and also my new Youtube video. 

http://www.etsy.com/shop/RKBeachPaintings

 

And until next time,

let’s bring some color into the world. It could always use it!

Ryan Kimba

http://www.ryankimbaart.com

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Author: ryankimba

I am a beach artist specializing in palette knife paintings! I love to paint the sea and also enjoy writing and traveling.

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