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Famous Painting Study #2: Homer’s Sponge Diver

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Step 6: A “Wet-In-Wet” Sky And Sea Sponge


Next up in this painting study is working on the sponge and sky. Mix Burnt Sienna and Umber to paint the dark area on the sea sponge, taking care around the hand and highlights. While the shadow is wet, touch in Cobalt Blue Hue to the darkest areas. You can also change it up by switching to Permanent Mauve for a variation in hue. Doing this is called the “wet-in-wet” technique, which will produce softer edges and paint transitions.

Focus on painting the sky next. Again, use the wet-in-wet technique here, so pre-wet the sky area with water before dropping in diluted Cerulean Blue. Avoid the clouds, but feel free to cover the land mass and oar, as you can paint over these areas later. To separate the sky and water a bit better, drop in Cobalt Violet Light as well, then a diluted Cadmium Yellow Deep for the area above the clouds. Lift any excess paint using a rag or paper towel, and for the best results, try not to overmix or overwork the sky.