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When Any Blue Won't Do

Recently I've been working on paintings based on our trip to Port Douglas in Far North Queensland, and I'll admit, I've been struggling to get the colours right.

Normally I use Prussian Blue Hue and Nickel Azo Yellow (from Golden Fluid) to create some gorgeous greens that really mimic the ones that I see here in Noosa. However, the colours are quite different up in FNQ. The water has a turquiose-y, milky type colour to it, the greens are very vibrant and the blues of the sky tends to be more washed out.

I was getting quite despondent about my colours. The paintings were slightly off, and I couldn't work out why. And then, I was listening to an illustration podcast (Three Point Perspective) where they were talking about doing a Master Study (where you copy a painting from an artist you respect, and try and recreate it), and I suddenly realised that in order to get the colours I wanted, I needed a different blue.

So out went the Prussian Blue, and in came the Primary Cyan. Ordinarily I would have tried using Ultramarine Blue to see if that did the job (but I currently only have that colour in Heavy Body rather than Fluid). And lo and behold, the colours started to come together. I had to also use Bone Black to get the really dark colours (as PB is quite a bit darker than PC), but so far I'm happy with how things are turning out.

Made with Prussian Blue:

Made with Primary Cyan + Bone Black:

Can you see the difference between the two?

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