Manly Rock Wall, Moody

Full Video

Painting a Rock Wall, Moody (Long)

Key Takeaways: 

  • I started with a thin wash of transparent brown oxide to kill the white surface. This provides me with a more balanced surface to paint on and makes it easier to judge the colors.
  • A key purpose of this painting was to explore the use of palette knives to capture a subtle subject. The bold, crisp strokes of a palette knife typically work best for bold, high-contrast subjects (like my Sierra Nevada painting). But these bold strokes can work against you when painting more subtle subjects like this seascape.
  • I needed to wield the palette knives with a touch of finesse, as you would a brush, with careful attention given to the subtle relationships and nuances.
  • I needed to make the colors of the sky and sea melt into each other, like one of Claude Monet’s water lily paintings. This wasn’t an easy thing to do with a palette knife. I needed to constantly rework what I had on the canvas until it looked right.
  • The palette knife was naturally suited for one thing in particular: the glassy water. The smooth finish of a palette knife stroke is perfect for this. Unlike brush strokes that have tiny bristle indents.


Painting a Rock Wall, Moody (Time-Lapse)

Finished Painting

Dan Scott, Manly Rock Wall, Moody, 2021
Dan Scott, Manly Rock Wall, Moody, 2021

Reference Photo

Manly Rock Wall, Reference Photo (700W)

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.

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