Color Masterclass: Enrollment opening soon. Join the waitlist>

Gold Coast, Path to the Sea

Full Video

Painting a Path in Shadow (Long)

Key Takeaways: 

  • The palette knife is a fun tool to paint with. It’s perfect for bold, crisp strokes. You can’t achieve the same effects with a brush.
  • Palette knife work is best paired with a touch of dexterity and finesse. Otherwise, it can come off as brash and sloppy.
  • I worked in a direct manner, working on each area until near finish before moving onto the next area. The start is slower and more calculated with this approach, but the finishing strokes are easier and faster.
  • I made use of multicolored strokes to capture the illusion of detail and activity. To do this, I leave the colors partially unmixed on the knife before making a stroke.
  • The sand is a great lesson on color temperature. Notice the dramatic changes in color as it goes from shadow to light. Cool purples and blues against tinted oranges and yellows.
  • The light-colored leaves and the sky are compressed around a similar value range. This is a form of value simplification.


Painting a Path in Shadow (Time-Lapse)

Finished Painting

Dan Scott, Gold Coast, Path to the Sea, 2021
Dan Scott, Gold Coast, Path to the Sea, 2021

Reference Photo

Dan Scott, Gold Coast, Path to the Sea, 2021, Reference Photo

Thanks for Reading!

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I appreciate it! Feel free to share with friends. If you want more painting tips, check out my Painting Academy course.

Happy painting!

Dan Scott
Draw Paint Academy


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.

Enjoyed this post? Join over 123,000 artists who subscribe to the Draw Paint Academy newsletter.