These are a few of my favourite hues

Lots of my creations, particularly my seascapes, are all about having fun playing with colour. And often, I simply create an indulgent palette out of my favourite hues. Colour motivates me in everyday life as much as it does in my art life.

I’ve blogged about other seascapes that I created last year using my favourite colours. This year, I’ve acquired two new favourites, both from Michael Harding’s oil paint range: warm white and king’s blue light. So it’s been quite a lot of fun experimenting with those.

This past week, I added two new seascapes to my online collection that are both colour explorations at heart.

Oil painting of seascape with view out to horizon, soft clouds in sky and textured waves breaking on beach

Tipple is one I created to explore what might happen when I combine my two new favourites hues with some of my other favoured pigments: buff titanium, indigo, purple lake and titanium white (some of these are from Winsor Newton and Daler Rowney, I find different stockists work for particular hues so I’m colour-loyal rather than brand-loyal when it comes to buying paint). 

The blues (indigo and king’s blue light) are both cool colours and I think nudge the purple lake into the cool zone in this painting (purple has both blue and red in it so can act as either a warm or a cool colour).

The buff titanium and whites add a little bit of warmth to an otherwise very cool and serene seascape. Just enough warmth to ensure the beach reflects a bit of light, the textured crests of the waves spring to life on the shoreline and the clouds waft in the sky. Along with sone bold brushwork and palette knife textures, this creates a sense of movement in the composition.

Oil painting of seascape with wave breaking on beach viewed at an angle

Pure focuses more on replicating that beautiful sea-blue-green that I grew up with in picturesque Cape Town. For this painting, I changed my blues to combine indigo with phthalo turquoise and incorporated some sap green and some cadmium green pale when the ocean needed more highlights.

A note on colour and photographing blue art

Blue paintings seldom photograph well. Which makes my life tricky, as I create quite a lot of blue paintings (ballerinas, seascapes and other landscapes). The time spent trying to photograph them with different lighting conditions (both natural light and artificial white light but never yellow artificial light) all adds up. I find editing the image doesn’t necessarily correct the colour balance sufficiently so prefer to keep photographing my artwork until I get the right starting point.

I often find changing the background helps. I usually photograph my paintings against a cream background. For blue paintings, I sometimes find a pure white background might help in some light conditions and, in others, a slightly warmer peachy background might do the trick.


Please feel free to post a link to my blog on your social media if you found this interesting, happy to share my colour tips. If you enjoyed reading this blog and have not yet signed up for my art newsletter, you’re very welcome to sign up here. 

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.