I don’t usually do preliminary colour sketches. I either work directly on site or from pencil sketches done from digital photos.

But I’m planning a large painting based on two paintings I did a couple of weeks ago near Princess Royal Harbour in Albany. The first painting was done en plein air and the second was a digital piece done using a photo of the scene, borrowing much of the colour scheme from my memory.

I want the large painting to have the flavour of the digital painting. I was concerned about getting the hues right since it is very warm with a pinkish sky and rich reddish-brown trees. The brightest highlights are yellow hues.

So before committing to the full sized painting I decided to test my colour mixes out on a small colour sketch.

(Evening at Princess Royal, 12x24cm oil on panel. © 2010, Andy Dolphin)

With this piece as a reference I have a strong starting point for the larger work. I hope to do that one next week.