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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Realism—- VS —-Impressionism!

The hardest part about going away from realistic art was being okay with the fact that I didn’t have to paint realistically. The truth is, I got burned out on painting in that style. Having to paint too tight started to get old after so many years as I realistic artist.

I wanted to express myself. I wanted to be loose and free in my planning and approach. And I wanted my brush strokes to be more spontaneous and random. In other words, I wanted to paint in a impressionistic form.

And to do that, I knew I needed to make a change.

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And in order to truly make a change, I needed to do something different. And what was that, you ask?

I put away my brushes and picked up a palette knife.

http://www.etsy.com/RKBeachPaintings

Starting to use palette knives forced me to paint loose. I had no choice. Knives don’t allow for super fine detail and life-like strokes. They were invented to resist all of that. And now that I use only palette knives in my work, I don’t see myself ever going back to brushes.

I feel that too many times “realism” in art is the stamp of approval for the artist. People in general seem to enjoy looking at realistic art. If it looks real, they view the artist as better or more talented

They see the art for what it is.

They can understand it; they can relate to it.

But this doesn’t mean that realism is better. It is only one style or genre of painting. There are many others to choose from. Once I became alright with change, I grew exponentially as an artist. And because my impressionist style doesn’t take as long, I can paint many more pieces than I could have before.

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So the moral of the story—do what you feel in your heart, not what you think you have to do. If you put love and passion into your work, you will eventually find an audience who loves and is passionate about it too.

Hope you had a nice Easter.

And until next time,

let’s keep bringing some more color into the world!

-Ryan Kimba

http://www.ryankimbaart.com

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoDaJL5tkFEHCzrC_yYrmcA

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Come on in! A Sneak Peak into my Studio

Normally I’m pretty private about my studio, as it is my one true safeguard. A place I can go to and get away from the world for a while. To lose myself in my beach paintings.

But revealing yourself is a large part of having a blog in the first place, so I figured I would show you a picture of my working station in my art studio. The rest you’ll just have to leave up to your imagination!

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This is where the magic happens! I also have some tables for framing, prepping, and painting the edges of my canvases, not to mention a large storage closet. And yes, I do have brushes even though I am a palette knife-only painter! I just don’t have the heart to get rid of them. They bring back too many good memories.

You’ll notice that my studio is :

  • Organized (this is key if you want to be a productive painter. You need to know where everything is)


  • Clean (artists are too messy; remember that people will need to enter your studio from time to time)


  • Simple (I have everything I need for my art practice. Nothing more. Nothing less)

What is your art studio like? Or your “creativity station?”

I’m happy to announce that I received 2 sales in the last couple of days on Etsy!!! Things are starting to pick up, slowly but surely. Hey, you know what they say–it’s all about baby steps. We had to learn to walk before we could sprint.

Here is a link to my shop– http://www.etsy.com/shop/RKBeachPaintings

I will be catching up on a LOT of painting this weekend, so I’m looking forward to becoming lost for a few days!

And don’t forget to check out my newest Youtube video on my art/self-development channel.

So as I like to say, let’s bring some more color into the world.

Your friend with the clean studio,

Ryan Kimba

http://www.ryankimbaart.com

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/ryan-kimba.html?tab=artwork

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How Bad Do you Want It?

I LIKE turtles

A few years ago I was doing an author symposium at Eastern Michigan University. I was there to promote my children’s book I had just gotten published, titled “Sea Beds,” and it was a very exciting time for me! After the event ended I had a long line of eager friends, family, and strangers lined up to get a copy of the book and a picture with the author. After I finished signing all of their copies for the night, a young man with thick-framed glasses and a tucked in shirt came up to talk to me. He was timid and uneasy…I could tell that right away.

“Hey Shaun. Can I get your advice on something?” he mumbled in a soft tone.

“Of course! What can I do for you?” I said.

“I am wrote a novel and was wondering how to get it published??? What do you think? I could use some direction.”

I asked him what his novel was about and what he ultimately wanted to do with it. Did he want to get it edited, published, sold, etc… Then I told him about how I had to pay for a publicist to help me market my book. That is usually the case for most first-time, unknown authors. His response to that was exactly as I had expected.

“WHAT!? I’m going to have to pay? That’s ridiculous! I shouldn’t have to pay anyone a dime to put out my book.”

I knew he wouldn’t go anywhere as a writer. And it wasn’t because he didn’t have the guts, passion, or talent to do it. It was because he was not willing to do whatever it took to achieve his goal. That’s why he won’t be a successful author. Unless he changes, that is. I told him he wasn’t ready to proceed with his plans and he stomped away. Looking back, I’m glad I didn’t steer him in the wrong direction by telling him what he wanted to hear.

My point is this…whatever your dream may be, you have to take FULL responsibility in making it happen. No one is going to do it for you. To put it bluntly–if you aren’t willing to spend or invest the money, to make the contacts, or risk countless rejection, or put in 16 hour days, or to be humiliated and uncomfortable on a regular basis—then you don’t deserve to your dream. If you are ready to sacrifice, then the world is at your feet.

And I’m rooting for you!

Starting an art career is a lifelong journey. It is not a sprint. It is a MARATHON. Put in everything you have and you will get it back in full. I promise you. I know I have a long way to go to becoming a world-renowned seascape painter, making six-figures a year from the sales of my art, and being able to travel around the world. But you can bet your boots that I will make that happen, no matter how long it takes.

That is MY dream. And it is non-negotiable! What is your dream? And are you willing to do whatever it takes to realize it?

 

Etsy Banner

I wanted to share with you my new banner I created for my page on etsy. I think it represents my new pallete knife paintings very well 🙂 Below is the link to my shop for you to check out

https://www.etsy.com/shop/RKSeascapePaintings?ref=hdr_shop_menu

 

So until next time,

Do what you love to do! And do ALL that you can do.

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http://www.ryankimbaart.com/

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/ryan-kimba.html

Let’s Paint a Seascape!!! An Art Lesson with Ryan Kimba

For all of you that don’t know me–my name is Ryan Kimba and I am a palette knife painter. I love to paint beaches, waves, palm trees, and sunsets. And with each new painting I aim to share my vision of seaside paradise with my viewers. I was born and raised in Michigan and graduated from Eastern with a degree in writing, my second love.

My first love is, yep! You guessed it. PAINTING!

Speaking of painting, today I will be showing you how to paint a seascape with palette knives. I think I’m going to do a tropical painting of some palm trees and mountains in the background.

So let’s get started…

Step (1)

..…..First we’ll begin tackling the sky. I think we’ll do a deep blue sky for our seascape painting. I always work from top to bottom so that I don’t have to worry about smearing or dragging my arm through the paint. I also like to mix my paint directly onto the canvas, which saves a lot of time. The piece of masking tape will give us a straight line for the horizon line. 

Using Pthalo blue and Titanium white in oils, let’s begin by mixing them onto the canvas. Here we are going for sweeping motions from side to side, much like buttering a piece of toast. We’ll keep the blue a little lighter near the bottom.

 

Step (2)

Next let’s add some bright clouds to the blue. Keep in mind that we need to use thick applications of Titanium white, or else it will mix into the blue and we’ll lose the bright white. This way we will keep it layered and solid over our base. Let’s put the mountain in the background on the right. To get the color you can mix Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna, which makes a chromatic black. Add a bit of Pthalo Blue and let this dark mix fade into the sky color. Since the mountain is a little in the distance, we need to make sure it is grayed due to atmospheric perspective.

 

Step (3)

Now we’ll start working on the water. I think I’d like a Turquoise for the base of the water. Once we have that down, we can always add other shades of blue to the water to give it more character. Don’t forget to make the horizon line straight. If you don’t, it will make the entire painting look off. This will require a very steady hand. If it doesn’t go well at first, don’t worry! It will come with practice. I promise! 🙂

 

Step (4)

I jumped ahead a bit, but you can start to see the progress. I finished off the ocean color by adding a bit of Pthalo blue, one of my go-to’s! I also added a bit of white to add some light to the waves. In the foreground I added some Permanent Green Light for grass, and then warmed it by mixing the green with some Cadmium Yellow Medium, which almost looks orange. For the earth I added white to Burnt Sienna. The green and tan ended up going quite well together!

 

Step (5)

Here we need some highlight to the mountain, by using some green along the edge. This will make the mountain look like it is shining in the sun. Make sure to keep it cool so that it doesn’t advance towards the foreground.  I also added a smaller mountain closer to our land. I used some of the black I already have mixed on my palette to paint in some rocks in the sand. The more details the better. Notice the wonderful texture of the painting so far!? That is courtesy of using palette knives instead of brushes. It gives you a 3-D effect that is simply magnificent.

 

Step (6)

I thought it would be awesome to add a glimmering waterfall spilling over the edge of the mountain. Also, we can now start on the palm trees. To do this, we’ll need to lift some paint off of the canvas to paint the trunks. If you don’t do that the paint will mix into the blue. To scrape the paint off, I used a knife with a long tapering tip and scraped from top to bottom in one quick motion. I decided to make the trunks bend, as most palm trees tend to grow crooked in real life.

 

Step (7)

In this step I made mounds of sand in the foreground with a lot of white into my Burnt Sienna. I also added some more details in the grass using Green Earth, which is a dark, chalky shade of green on my palette. We will also use that color for the base of the palm fronds. I also added waves in the ocean, because what seascape would be complete without waves??? Lastly I filled in the trunks of our trees with Burnt Sienna and Cad. Yellow mix. Now we are ready to finish off the palm trees.

 

Step (8)

To make the trees look alive, we need to add various shades of green. Some of the fronds are in shadow and some are in light. To add sunlight, simply add Cadmium Yellow Light to the medium shade of green. You can also add black to the heart of the tree to really make it pop. I also gave the trees shadows, so that the sun is coming from the top right of the scene. We are almost done now. But I think we need a little more color in the grass.

 

Step (9)

For the final touch I decided to include some vibrant tropical flowers into the picture. To get these colors you’ll need to do a bit of mixing. The pink was mixed from Cadmium Red Deep and white, the violets from Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Red Deep, and the blue is Pthalo Blue plus white. By varying the hues of the colors they will look more life-like. 

I think that about wraps it up for our seascape painting! I had a LOT of fun and hope that you did too! Painting is such an incredible process because we can do whatever we want to do. Add anything we’d like to add! If you have any questions, feel free to drop a line below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

 

I decided to name my painting “The Paradise Within.” If you’d like to see some close-up detail shots of the piece, visit my online Etsy shop at

https://www.etsy.com/listing/467188283/original-palette-knife-painting-14-oils?ref=shop_home_active_5

 

 

And don’t forget to check out my Fine Art America page at

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/ryan-kimba.html

 

 

Until next time,

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http://www.ryankimbaart.com/

Art is *NOT* about talent!

I’d like to talk about the widely held belief that artists are more talented then other people. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me that I have’ God-given talent,’ I wouldn’t need to start my own art business. I’ve heard countless times “I wish I could do what you do” and “you were born with tremendous talent, young man,” or “you have a rare gift for creating.” And while I appreciate the positive feedback and recognize that those people meant well…they are still WRONG, to put it bluntly.

Talent and art ARE NOT intertwined. Everything I have learned in art I have had to develop. I have toiled for 10 years to get where I am today. People might say they want to learn to draw or paint, but the stark reality is that they will not put in the effort and work to learn how to do so. So they make excuses by thinking it is a divine gift reserved purely for the fortunate ones.

Anybody can learn how to paint! Given the time, work, and shift in perspective, any willing participant could learn to do what I do. Painting isn’t about learning how to draw and paint, it’s about learning how to “see.” Now that isn’t to say that making art is easy. It certainly isn’t! A lot of times art can be a very exhausting and emotionally draining affair, but it is something that I love and am called to do.

Don’t believe me when I say that anyone can develop the skills and tools to make fantastic art? Let us hop in a time machine…to 10 years ago. Beep, boop….beep….

 

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Here is my very first painting in watercolor of the open ocean. It was created 10 years ago when I was 18 years old.  As you can see it is very abstract and mediocre. Not to mention that fact that it is technically not a sound composition. This was a very humble beginning, I assure you. But I show you this now to prove to you that everybody has to start someone. Nobody is born an art prodigy, even though people think they are.

 

In the field of psychology, people who believe that knowledge, skill, and greatness are birth-rights are called “fixed-minded.” In other words, they have a fixed mindset. If they aren’t great at art right out of the gate, then it’s because they don’t have a knack for it. Sounds crazy, huh? Yet people in the “growth mindset” believe that all talent and ability must be worked at and refined. These are the artists who continuously strive to master their craft. People who will NEVER give up, like me. What if I had quit after glancing at that painting 10 years ago? Instead I decided to push through until I was able to create the painting you see below.

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So to all of you out there–you can achieve anything in life as long as you have a burning passion to learn and grow. The world is at your feet!!!

In my next post I will be revealing my color palette, and how each color works together in creating my beach paintings. It should be very fun and informative.

Until then, improve your techniques, and above all, have a blast painting!

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visit my shop at

https://www.etsy.com/shop/RKSeascapePaintings?ref=hdr_shop_menu

 

To view my personal website, go to

http://www.ryankimbaart.com/

 

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/ryan-kimba.html

 

 

Middle School Memories!

One day in 8th grade art class I got kicked out of my room for fooling around, like I usually did. The teacher came into the hall and proceeded to tell me “you will NEVER go anywhere as an artist!” Wow! Was that ever a shocking and awful thing to hear at such a tender developmental stage in my creative life.

The problem is that I must have carried that with me, even if only unconsciously. To this day I still hear a voice in my head that tells me I’m not good enough. Yet the thing is, that voice does not come from ME. It is the collective byproduct of everything anyone has ever told me. And most of those are negative, I have to add.

The negative voices in our heads come from other people!

What things do you tell yourself that have no basis in reality?

 

I can think of a few things artists hear on a regular basis:

 

“Get a REAL job!”

“You can’t make money selling art.”

“Art is just a hobby.”

“Artists are lazy and insubordinate.”

“You won’t be recognized until you are dead.”

“My 5 year old daughter could paint that!”

Good grief! Is it any wonder why artists have such low self worth and self esteems? I guess what I am trying to say is that you need to believe in yourself. That is the only way you can become successful. I thank Mrs. Boyle for what she said to me all those years ago, because it gave me the fire to prove her and everybody else wrong. It gave me a reason for being.

Don’t forget to check out my new shop on etsy

https://www.etsy.com/shop/RKSeascapePaintings?ref=hdr_shop_menu

 

And until next time,

Put some good voices in your head! And those can only come from you 🙂

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