Bring on the Moon

I’ve been working on a night series of beach paintings and it has been going very well. These are the first moonlit scenes that I have done! I love adding in the moon as the central focus and make it light up the entire scene. These paintings are very whimsical, mystical, and dramatic.

The best news is I think I’ve awakened something inside of me. I’ll be doing MANY more evening beaches in the future! After all, I am a creature of the night. Evening is my favorite time of day.

So it makes sense to bring the evening into my beach scenes, doesn’t it?!

The Way by Moonlight

Tropical Moon

Moonlight Melody


And speaking of moonlight beaches, don’t forget to check out my latest video on Youtube!


Hope all of you have had a GREAT weekend, and until next time, let’s bring some color into the world!

Ryan Kimba

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PPP! The “Perfect Painter Palette.”

It has taken a few years to find a stable of colors to suit my needs. Every artist has their own colors they prefer. In fact, the colors each artist chooses to use can be a very personal decision.

I started off with a double-primary palette of 2 reds, 2 yellows, and 2 blues along with white and black. I used my double primary for the first year, but since then I have added some additional colors that I couldn’t do without. Now instead of using black, I mix my own chromatic black with Ultramarine Blue and a bit of Burnt Sienna. This makes a colorful and rich black that will NOT dull your other colors like Ivory Black or Mars Black do. One helpful tip is to place your colors in the same position on your palette every time you paint. It makes the painting process more quick and simple.

And since I am a palette knife painter, I love to mix my colors directly onto the canvas! This also cuts down painting time drastically.

Below is my core palette of colors.

Artist Palette


*Additional colors I like to use are:


Old Holland Green Light

Turquoise Blue Deep

Brilliant Pink

Sap Green


Manganese Violet


Here is a new painting of a beautiful sunset on the water!

golden-daysGolden Days.” Oils on canvas, 11×14 inches

You can visit my official website at

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I hope all of you have had a great week so far, filled with progress and creativity! If you are new to oil painting and are looking to choose a palette of your own, try to keep it simple so that you don’t get overwhelmed. Study the basic colors and how they mix together. And remember that color theory and mixing is a skill that must be developed through practice and looking at things differently. As one artist once put it,”Being a good painter is not about learning how to paint. It’s about learning how to SEE.”

Until next time,

Ryan Kimba



Protect the Turtles!!

Sea turtle conservation has always been an important issue for me, mainly because of the important role turtles play in their marine environment. My love of marine biology and sea turtles even led me to write a children’s book about sea turtles, called “Sea Beds.”

I’ve had the privilege of visiting several sea turtle rehabilitation centers in Florida and they were invaluable experiences, to say the least. We must ALL contribute to the overall health and vitality of the world’s beaches and oceans. We may not own them, but they must be protected. That is what my beach scenes are all about–revealing the ocean in all its glory and beauty.

Here is my latest palette knife painting to commemorate my love for those hardy little creatures that live in a shell.


the-great-raceThe Great Race.” Oils on canvas, 11×14″


Sorry it has been a while! I’ve been patiently nursing a broken finger and have also been sick for the past month! But I am doing a lot better.

I’m excited to announce that I will be starting my own Youtube channel in the coming months!!! 🙂 I will let you know more when the time comes.

Have a great week everyone,

Ryan Kimba


Let’s Paint a Seascape: Part 2! An Art Lesson with Ryan Kimba

So I shattered my finger last week and I’ve been out for the count. However, I will say that my hand is feeling much better and I’m looking forward to being able to paint again (I’m right handed).

For this post we will be painting a new tropical seascape painting in oils from start to finish. We’ll be using palette knives on a stretched canvas. To take a look at what specific colors I use on my palette, visit


So…Let’s get started!



First we’ll grab some Phalo blue and begin painting the sky portion. For the horizon line, I like to put a piece of tape down to keep it straight. When using palette knives, it’s important to try not to be intimidated by working loose. Just go from side to side with the knife blade, making the blue lighter as you go down. It should feel like you are buttering a large piece of toast!



Now  that the blue is laid down, we can start adding clouds. To ensure that the Titanium white doesn’t mix with the blue, you’ll need to apply it pretty thick onto the canvas. Experiment a little so that you can feel more comfortable with using the knife.



To add the ocean, I used a mixture of Pthalo blue and Ultramarine blue, two of 3 blues I have on my palette. They are my favorite colors to work with. Mix them together and create the base color for the ocean and bring the paint up to the horizon. Try to keep the water line as straight as possible.



Now we will begin working on the sand. Mix Titanium white with a tiny speck of Burnt Sienna to get an off-white sandy color. Paint this below the sea to start the sand, but don’t go too far down the bottom of the canvas because that area will be getting covered up with vegetation.



Now you can take some straight Pthalo blue (which is dark out of the tube) to begin making the shadows in the waves. You can decide in what areas you’d like some waves. That is the fun part about painting! Here you can see where I ended the sand.



I’d like to add a palm tree on the right side of the foreground. To do this we need to scrape the paint off, making the actual shape of the palm tree. This is the easiest way to do this because if you don’t scrape the paint off you will have a hard time. You can do this with the tip of the knife blade. The paint will come right off the support except for the paint shadow (stain).



In painting wet on wet, it’s always simplest to paint light colors over dark. Now this is a general rule. It certainly doesn’t apply to every situation. Add some Green Earth and black to the palm tree. To get a rich vibrant black color, add Ultramarine Blue with Burnt Sienna. At the bottom of this painting will be a forest of sea grapes. Lay down a medium shade of green to get the base color for the plants.



From the original base color mixture, simply add Cadmium Yellow Light and Titanium white to lighten it, and black and Cadmium Yellow Medium to darken it. This will give you several interesting shades for the leaves of the sea grapes. If you need to look at photos of the plants, that is always helpful. Feel free to make them as congested as possible for a more realistic effect.



Now we can add some waves to our ocean! This is always my FAVORITE part! To do this, put some globs of white on the back side of the blade tip and begin making little sweeps. If some mixes with the blue, no problem. But make sure that some bright white is applied for the foam of the waves in the light.



From there we can go ahead and start bringing the palm tree to life. This is the most time-consuming process of the painting. You can be as detailed as you’d like or you can go for a more abstract look. It’s totally up to you.



To give the piece more character I decided to add some chairs and umbrellas on the beach in the background. Don’t worry about details. All you really need are the impressions of the objects in the distance.



Here are the sea grapes up close. You can see that each leaf is a glob of thick paint. And since we are painting thickly with knives, it creates textures and shadows for a nice 3-D type of look.


Here is the finished painting, called “View from the Top.”




View from the top     18×24 inches…oils on canvas

And that is all there is to it! It is so fun and everyone can learn how to do it with practice and dedication. Most of painting is not about learning tricks; it’s about learning how to see. And if you are enjoying my these tutorials, be sure to follow my blog or leave me a comment below.

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend, and I will talk to you soon.

Until next time, let’s bring some color into the world. It really needs it.

–Ryan Kimba


Back From Boynton Beach! And ITCHING to paint…

I arrived back in Michigan yesterday afternoon from Fort Lauderdale Airport. All in all it was a pretty special trip, albeit a little too short for my liking! I visited my grandma in Boynton Beach, which is a charming little town near West Palm. The highlight of my trip was going to a private beach in Delray, which was suprisingly beautiful. They don’t call them “private” for nothing. Boy, do they sure make you feel like home. And it was great not having crowds.

I feel like I have a plethora of inspiration in my hat from being in sunny Florida. I can’t wait to get back in the studio and crank out some more beach paintings!

Here is a photo from the boardwalk at Boynton Beach, where I have been going for over 5 years now. Also, below is a new painting of mine to commemorate it. These palette knife paintings are really coming along 🙂


view-from-the-topView from the top. 16×20. Oils on canvas

I’m excited to announce my first two sales on Etsy in the last two weeks! I have only had my shop for a few months but I am starting to see some healthy progress. The growth process of any business takes time, but I look forward to seeing what my art practice has in store for me!

Be sure to stay tuned for my next post this Sunday, where I will be showing you another painting tutorial, featuring the painting above, called “View from the Top.” It should be very fun and informative, and hopefully it will inspire you to pick up your art materials and paint something wonderful yourself. As artists we must look for inspiration all around us.

I hope everyone had a terrific Labor Day, and an even better Tuesday! 

Until next time,

Ryan Kimba




Painting the Beach–One Stroke at a Time!

My name is Ryan Kimba and I am a beach artist who specializes in original palette knife paintings. My subject matter consists of tropical shorelines, waves, rocky coasts, and captivating sunsets.

So the golden question is…

Why do I paint only seascapes?

Well, an uninspired answer would be because I love the sea like most people do. But if I go deeper than that, I paint the sea because it’s where I feel like I belong. It is home to me. I am a Pisces and feel the magic of being on the shore. Every sound and sight inspires me to want to re-create it on a canvas. To translate it into something lasting.

And I strive to give each of my paintings that magic, a stunning peace and freedom that only the ocean can grant us.


The Crystal Tide“The Crystal Tide.” My new painting on canvas. 11×14″


I love to emphasize bold and lively colors in my work, rich textures, and calming, nostalgic scenes. That is what my new palette knife style is all about. If you haven’t read it yet, check out my last post on the “Top 5 Reasons to Try Painting with Palette Knives.” To view close-up images of my paintings, you can visit my Etsy shop at


I will be heading to Florida for Labor Day to visit family in Boynton Beach. It will be a much-needed dose of rest, relaxation, and inspiration. While on the beach I’ll be sure to take some photos of the waves and palms and create sketches to take home with me for reference. As a visual artist, it is imperative to record those moments so that you can draw on them later on when the inspiration strikes. It demonstrates that when you’re a professional artist the work never stops, even when you’re on vacation! Luckily for me, I absolutely LOVE what I do.

And I can’t wait to get back into the studio when I return! I’ll be sure to post some images of the trip in my next post. But until then, I wish you happy painting, drawing, sculpting, photographing, graphic designing, or whatever it is that you like to do to make the world a richer place. The world NEEDS artists.

Let’s give it some much-needed color!


Ryan Kimba


*Top 5* Reasons to Try Painting with Palette Knives

There are 5 GRAND reasons for using palette knives instead of brushes when painting in oils. It certainly is worth naming them, for those of you who might have entertained the idea of using knives in the past. Before we get down to it, I’d like to share with you my new painting, called “Sparkles.” I’ve also included a detail shot for a closer inspection 🙂 :



Sparkles.  11×14 Oils on canvas



1. You can paint more loose

With using brushes, it is common to feel the pressure to add in a lot of detail. Because of that, your painting process can feel rigid and formulaic. When using palette knives, or “painting knives” as they are commonly called, you can be more loose and free. This is because you CAN’T achieve great detail with a knife blade, so it opens you up to get more expressive with your style.

2. You can mix colors directly on your canvas

This is a great benefit with using knives instead of brushes. As a palette-knife painter, you can mix all of your colors right onto the canvas as you are painting instead of having to pre-mix them on your palette before application. This also allows you to paint more loosely, not to mention all the time it saves!

3. It gives your work texture

Since knives don’t absorb the oil paint, it all ends up on the support. As you build up these layers of thick paint, your art starts to take on a life of its own! By going back through the mounds of color, you can create striking textures not possible using a paint brush. 3-D art, anyone?

4. You paintings look more like paintings

When I was using brushes to paint my seascapes, I tried to make my art look photo-realistic. I wanted my work to look as life-like as possible. If you go to my website and look at my realistic paintings, you will see what I am talking about.   Since switching to painting knives, however, my paintings look more like paintings. They are more abstract and expressive. This has really helped me find a “voice” within my work. You can now tell that my palette-knife paintings were created by the same artist, which is what branding is all about.

5. Clean-up is a breeze!

And lastly, clean-up is not a treacherous debacle. It is far more quick and painless. No longer are there filthy brushes or solvents to worry about. In fact, all that is required is to wipe off the knife blades with paper towel in between each individual color you apply. So I guess you can say that clean up is on the go, as you are painting to and fro! This is probably the nicest plus to using palette knives.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my list and that it might inspire you to pick up some knives and experiment. So much of being an artist is finding what works for you and seeing what is out there. There is a fine artist I have been following for a couple of years  who also uses palette knives, quite WELL, I might add! Her name is Leslie Saeta, host of Artists Helping Artists on Blog Talk Radio. Check out her art at

I’ll see you next time, my fellow art enthusiasts, where I will be talking about why I love to paint the sea. I will also be heading down to Florida over Labor Day weekend to get some much needed relaxation and inspiration, but I’ll be sure to say goodbye before I go!

Until next week,