View Full Version : Not 'Singing the Blues!' A sad conundrum.

04-05-2018, 05:12 AM
We Brits are used to our skies as one shade of grey...all over.:(
Sometimes we see some blue in Summer and Autumn but it's rarely blue as many of you know it.
I go on holiday to warm, inspiring places and the skies are a real blue most of the time. It's that gorgeous intensity full of light and yet deep where you think it may lead to indigo and violet if you travel far enough into space.

I'm very good at grey with different blacks, whites, even added yellow, red and when I reduce my paints to mud.:o But blue, sunny, gorgeous, ice-cream and suntan blue just doesn't happen; it seems to be grey...ish.
So, I've experimented what I have in my paintbox: Titanium White (don't like China White...too yellowy) some spots using greens with Phthalo Cerulean, Cobalt and Ultramarine. What am I missing? Please help rid me of these terrible blues.:cool: :confused:
Latest painting and see what I mean: acrylic 15.5" x 20". It's the Rock of Gibraltar where we had a short holiday last week.


04-05-2018, 07:20 AM
Margaretta.....you know 'blue' is a real inspirational, fun and lively color (colour for you).....since I live at the beach, I paint a lot of 'blue' skys and utilize 'Thalo Blue' almost exclusively...it comes in red shade and green shade.....I like the green shade.....give it a go!....and remember, 'blue' is such a 'cool color'....:thumbsup: :lol: :wave:

04-05-2018, 08:24 AM
Thank you Bluefish. I was unaware of the shades of Phthalo blue. I'll give them a try.:wave: :)

04-05-2018, 08:38 AM
I agree with bluefish here. Phthalo (or thalo) blue green shade is it. It plays nicely with both titanium and zinc white. Little touches of quinacridone magenta warm it up. A little bit of yellow in it is useful for doing the sky near the horizon.

Anthroquinone (aka indantherene) blue can be mixed into the thalo to subtly darken it.

Ultramarine blue + burnt siena +ti. white is an interesting palette to play with. I"ve used it sometimes and no doubt will again for landscapes.

04-05-2018, 10:15 AM
Nice painting. Not much sky in this one but it does have some nice blues in it.

Most of my skies were done with ultramarine and white. Then I started using pthalo (green shade) for the bottom and ultramarine at the top.

And I have no idea why they call it ultramarine green shade because it is still on the purple side. Seems like the main difference in the ultramarine shades is the amount of transparency. I don't know how different the pthalo shades are.

04-05-2018, 10:44 AM
I love the dynamic aerial angle vanish point of this work.

Katie Black
04-06-2018, 11:25 AM
Hi, I'm a Brit too and I agree re the weather.

I love the composition of this painting, I really feel like I am almost getting an aerial view! :)

04-06-2018, 02:53 PM
Thank you for all the advice about blue paints and for kind comments on my painting. :) I was really struck by the view which was worth a very hard walk upwards even after the lift. I'm starting a view from behind as you can see all around the rock to the coast of Spain and Africa. Gibraltar is a really interesting place for a short visit.
Katie, we had bright sunshine today in the South East of England :) and a chilly wind but it bodes well for some blue skies soon....we hope.