The perfect day

For me, a perfect day is windless and sunny. I find a place to park and I set up in the shade of my car. The lake is like a mirror and there are no boats going by to disturb the reflections. I’m sure the sailor who owns the boat would not agree with my definition of a perfect day, but that’s ok.

On this perfect day, I use mostly three colours from my palette: Cobalt Blue, Alizarin Crimson and Hansa Yellow. With these, I can mix the soft blue of the sky, the bright greens of the trees and the neutrals of the rocks on the breakwater. There’s some diluted Yellow Ochre in my first sky wash (Hansa Yellow would turn the sky green) and a bit of Cerulean Blue in the sky. For the darkest darks, I mix in a bit of Ultramarine since Cobalt is a little too weak to do the job. Painted on quarter sheet of Arches 140lb Rough paper.

23 Comments on “The perfect day”

  1. Jeff Gold says:

    A perfect day and a perfect painting. Just beautiful! Love the sky, the foliage, the reflections. Masterful as always.


    • Jeff, thanks so much. It’s funny that you should comment. This painting reminds me of the one you own. It was the same sort of calm day, and I was very relaxed when I painted it, must like when I did yours. Hope you guys are well and enjoying the summer.


  2. Cindy Cali says:

    It’s beautiful!


  3. pamlopez15 says:

    Prefect painting for a perfect day, Shari! Wow! 👏😍👏😍👏


  4. Chris Rusk says:

    Magical. Great light!


  5. Linda Murray says:

    Wow! Gorgeous! Looks so calm, peaceful. That sky, I can’t stop looking at it, as with the rocks and boat. Love this, Shari! ❤️


  6. Donna says:

    This is beautiful and spontaneous. How long did It take you to do this. I would be getting out my small brushes and just ruin
    this. Especially the trees. What size brush are you using? Thank you for sharing


    • HI Donna. I think I was there for about 1.5 hours.
      I used three brushes: a big round for the sky, the water and the big shapes of the rocks. I used a 1/2″ flat for the trees, and then a smaller round for the boat and reflections. And a thin rigger for the smaller lines. So I guess four brushes in all.


  7. Bernadette says:



  8. Très beau.
    Comme toujours


  9. Stacey says:

    We all must listen to you…the ink pen you suggested a couple of posts back has to back order now. The anticipation is so worth it though.


  10. A piece of nature in the digital world, lovely


  11. Betsy says:

    Wonderful explanation of reasons for these color choices – especially the three “Big Blues.”

    (Are cobalt, ultramarine, and cerulean like the Three Bs of classical music – Bach, Brahms, and Beethoven?)


    • Betsy says:

      The sketch is beautiful and I love how the “white” hull of the sailboat is actually almost a mid-blue – same as the sky.

      Your whites are so eloquent, I study them to see what I might learn!


  12. Perfectly peaceful!! I like the stillness of this. Lovely colors too!!


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