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!

Signature Draw Paint Academy

Dan Scott

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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