On the Easel: Secrets on the Lake, February 2020

(My “On the Easel” posts give you a behind-the-scenes look at what I am working on, what went well, what went wrong, and things I learn). 

Secrets on the Lake, 2020
Secrets on the Lake, 2020


  • Oil on canvas board. 12 x 16 inches.
  • Main colors: Ultramarine blue, cobalt blue, cadmium red, yellow ochre, cadmium yellow, viridian green, raw umber, titanium white.

Refer to my supplies list for more details on what I use.

Progress Shots

Secrets WIP (1)
Secrets WIP (2)
Secrets WIP (3)
Secrets WIP (4)


  • Avoid long breaks between paintings. Stay active and keep your instinct fresh. This painting was my first since early 2020 and I could feel the “ring-rust”.
  • Richard Schmid suggests that dark accents are always warm, regardless of the light source. I played around with this idea in this painting. Notice the small dabs of warmth at the bottom of the trees.
Secrets Close-Up (2)
  • Use subtle brushwork and broken color to add variance to “bland” areas. Refer to the clear blue sky.
  • We tend to be most critical of a painting immediately after finishing. Take a break and reserve judgment for later. I was not satisfied with this painting initially, but my opinion changed a few days later with fresh eyes.

Thanks for Reading!

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I appreciate it! Feel free to share with friends.

Want to learn more about landscape painting? Check out my Landscape Painting Masterclass.

Happy painting!

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Dan Scott


Dan Scott is the founder of Draw Paint Academy. He's a self-taught artist from Australia with a particular interest in landscape painting. Draw Paint Academy is run by Dan and his wife, Chontele, with the aim of helping you get the most out of the art life. You can read more on the About page.

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2 comments on “On the Easel: Secrets on the Lake, February 2020”

  1. Dan, your “On the Easel “ posts have been really a lifesaver during the Covid-19 lockdown.
    I’ve worked my way through most of them. A couple turned out well enough to hang in the living room. Is there a reference photo you could share for “ Secrets of the Lake?”
    You threw a curve ball on the progress shots. The little island or floating log disappears in the finished work, replaced by ? Seaweed? Algae blooms?


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