Ocean Hues

May 4, 2012

Hello friends, it is Leslie here for May’s edition of Color Me Pretty. As you can see this series is about the many shades of ocean blue, like fresh aqua, ultramarine, indigo and pale blue. With summer around the corner it is hard not to think about this classic blue and bright white combination.

Ocean Hues

I have been spending a lot of time in my studio lately working on some projects with watercolors and acrylics. If you don’t already, I highly recommend playing with paints to explore color combinations. It is nice because you can also experiment with a color’s intensity by adding a little water to lighten, or a little more paint to get a darker shade. You can explore a color palette on a small sheet of paper before you use it in a larger scale design project.

Ocean Hues

Ocean Hues

Ocean Hues

A couple weeks ago I spent the day on a little beach near my home with my family and we had fun finding loads of sea glass that was washed up among the rocks. I decided to sort our colorful treasures into piles. It is always an interesting design challenge to think about good ways to display collections. I can imagine this sea glass glued to these pieces of paper and then put into a deeper frame or shadow box. It may also be nice to find some pretty clear bottles to put the glass in to then admire on a little shelf. I think my daughter would like that as she enjoys holding and looking at her “treasures from the sea”. I love the aqua and pale teal shades, and could see them looking pretty in the water of a floral arrangement or in a dish in my bathroom.

Ocean Hues

Ocean Hues

Ocean Hues

Ocean Hues

With all the watercolors on my desk I couldn’t help but dip the edges of some doilies in the colored water! I have seen some crocheted doilies dip dyed and wanted to experiment with the paper ones for gift-wrapping. This was so quick and you just need a big sheet of paper to dry them on. The drying paper looked beautiful too with the doily patterns left on it in blue paint. The dip dyed little doilies would look sweet wrapped around a jelly jar full of flowers. You could also dye the paper with food coloring for a food safe option. I think I may try dipping them in hot pink next!

I hope you have enjoyed this color story and maybe you have a few ideas to try out. Take care, enjoy May and thank you! – Leslie.

(photography: leslie shewring)


  • Reply shanon May 4, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Yay for the dreaminess and the talent that is Leslie and Color Me Pretty! =)

  • Reply sarah hardaker May 4, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    supremely GORGEOUS,
    i have a huge collection of sea glass from our trips to cornwall, i love it thanks for the inspiration

  • Reply Tina Ramchandani May 4, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    I saw a few of your blue water color images on instagram but didn’t guess this month’s post was going to be about these blues! They are so, so pretty! I would probably put the glass in jars too :)

  • Reply Alexis May 4, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Oh this is beautiful, I want to get out my own watercolors now :).

  • Reply Jessica @shimmerkai May 4, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Very pretty! Love watercolors and shades of blue

  • Reply Michele May 4, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Delighted to see a new color story! Lovely, as always. Inspirational, as always. It gave me a cool and refreshing feeling, just looking at the beautiful colors.

  • Reply Lindsay May 4, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    omg this whole post is giving me a colorgasm! beachy blues are some of my favorites! oh, who am i kidding, all color combos are my favorite! howeverrrrr… all the patterns, tones, photos, swatches are all so gorgeous and tranquil. it makes me want to dedicate an entire room in my house to these “pretty ocean hues!”

    thanks for sharing!


  • Reply Susan Graham May 4, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    I could DIE! These are my favorite colors and every little thing Leslie has done here is gorgeous. So inspiring!

  • Reply olive green anna May 4, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    This post really inspires me to get painting again!

    Thank you for sharing.


  • Reply Tracey Fisher May 4, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    So beautiful as always Leslie! I love blue, and sea glass, or as we call it “mermaids tears”, is a favourite around our house. We’ve put some of it in a clear glass and then a votive with candle in that. It makes the coloured glass come to life. I love your watercolours – I have been playing around with that as well this spring. Not as pretty as yours but thank you for the inspiration. Have a great spring!

  • Reply Heather B May 4, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Oh Leslie, You are so uber talented! I would give an appendage to spend an afternoon in your studio, even though I know I’d have serious craft-supply/ photo prop envy.

  • Reply Kim Fisher May 4, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    So clever- lovely post.

  • Reply Ashley {GirlyObsessions} May 4, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Gorgeous collection as usual, Leslie! I love the range of blues, and I especially LOVE the sea glass! Watercolors were always my least favorite medium because I couldn’t cover my mistakes, but maybe I should pick them up again as I don’t think I’m as anal as I once was. :) I think I’d enjoy some happy watercolor accidents now!

  • Reply Melissa Allam May 4, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Gorgeous! I never tire of these shades of blue.

  • Reply Renee May 4, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Leslie, What a stunning array of photos. Love the little collection of sea glass. Your watercolor patterns are wonderful.

    Love it all.

  • Reply Julie the Alkaline Sister May 4, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Awe Les this is stunning! Gorgeous veggies make me weak at the knees but this palette is right up there too! Makes me want to water colour right now!! and add more aqua & blue to my home! Thanx for the creative inspiration in between my nutrition studies:) Holly, hope you are well, I’ve been loving your posts lately, just no time to say hi, so HI:)

  • Reply Cyn | decyng May 4, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    really nice pictures! I love your work.

  • Reply Beth May 4, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    I love the sea glass spectrum of color. So soothing. And refreshing.
    And lovely.

  • Reply Kristin Johnsen May 4, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Leslie – as always, VERY pretty and inspiring! I’m always so in awe of your use of color and your ingenious way of putting the colors together. I love beach glass – lived on the waters of Washington state and love to still visit from my home in SEattle – so I have glass that my Mom and I picked up when I was little (I’m over 55 now) that I still treasure – so I”m betting your daughter will do the same years from now! Thanks as always for your inspirations – I don’t do watercolors but you always make it look so easy!!!

  • Reply Sacred & Profane Designs May 4, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Breathtaking! Fantastic hues, patterns and textures!

  • Reply caroline trend-daily May 4, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    Lesley-love this colour me pretty SO much! Beautiful… Have a wonderful weekend! :-)

  • Reply Nina Lamb May 4, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    This has to be one of my favorite color stories. Your watercolor patters are simply beautiful. Great work Leslie!

  • Reply Josefin May 5, 2012 at 12:01 am

    this are SOO much my colors!!!
    Not that I use them much, but this are MY colors anyhow;-)
    LOVELY color inspiration!!!

  • Reply PriscilaPetersDecor May 5, 2012 at 12:30 am

    So refreshing! The colors are inspiring…

  • Reply lebenslustiger May 5, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Absolutely gorgeous and so summery and beachy!

  • Reply Ría May 5, 2012 at 12:55 am

    I love this color. It takes me to summer.
    I love your work with the acrilic.

  • Reply Sara @ Zahara Dessert May 5, 2012 at 1:09 am

    Just stunning! This is my favourite colour in the whole world… it makes me happy! Thanks so much for all the ideas

  • Reply Yolonda May 5, 2012 at 4:06 am

    Love the colors…makes me want to hit the beach!

  • Reply Mary Ann May 5, 2012 at 4:38 am

    leslie you really know how to pull out all the stops don’t you?
    Going to look for my doilies now…gotta run!
    Thanks for making my already happy Friday a little sweeter.

  • Reply Amy May 5, 2012 at 8:49 am

    The colour of the sea and the sky – so life-affirming, thanks Leslie. Have been thinking of a new colour for our front door, may go with a vibrant cobalt blue…x [PS. Have you seen the new book by Nichole Robertson – Paris in Colour? Right up your street ; ) x Amy

  • Reply April Louise May 5, 2012 at 9:07 am

    The swatches look so good taped on the wall x

  • Reply Yna May 5, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Great colors. Great photos. I particularly love the collages. They are always a great inspiration. Today I will dream of the sea.

  • Reply Bouboulette May 5, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Love, love, love !!
    Thank you for these pics, it’s wonderful !!

  • Reply tinajo May 5, 2012 at 11:50 am

    This must be one of my favourites of your colorful posts – love the different hues and the fresh feeling! :-)

  • Reply Tracy A. May 5, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Oh my! This entire post is a visual feast!

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente May 5, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Oh, Leslie! This is so incredibly beautiful…and makes me wish I was beside the sea….I don’t know how you come up with all of these beautiful ideas every time….just so inspiring and so incredibly beautiful, my friend!

  • Reply madisoncary May 5, 2012 at 3:38 pm


  • Reply Susan Mathison May 5, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Never met a blue I didn’t LOVE!!!

  • Reply Shell May 5, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Oh, how much i love blue. This blue filled post makes my dreamy heart smile.

  • Reply May 5, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Leslie creates the best color boards.

  • Reply Karena May 5, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Oh I adore this idea, and the shades of blue are delightful!!

    I have featured an Interview with Tina from The Enchanted Home…


    Art by Karena

  • Reply Anna Fieduna May 6, 2012 at 3:22 am

    Just lovely! I am always inspired to pull out all my paints and doodle away. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Take care

  • Reply Kelsey @ Pinegate Road May 6, 2012 at 5:51 am

    How beautiful! Growing up on Lake Erie I spent many days each summer collecting sea glass. I had jars upon jars in my childhood room, this post in making me so nostalgic. I love the watercolor studies as well…something I haven’t done since high school. So many memories in this post, thank you so much for sharing :)

  • Reply Cathy Graves May 6, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Oh, what a beautiful post–incredible colors, incredible photos!! Thank you for this lovely study of one of my most favorite colors!!

  • Reply Eva May 6, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Hello Leslie,

    Love your blog! I look forward to receive your daily email and of course the fact that you like Dutch home décor magazines since I’m Dutch (love Vt-wonen too and we have a few more great ones :) ).
    I was wondering about the second to last picture in this post. It looks like you used watercolors on a canvas. Is that a special canvas or did you use acrylics?


  • Reply Salli @ Tiipii May 7, 2012 at 1:00 am

    This color me pretty post is stunning! The blue hues are such a relaxing and peaceful combination.

  • Reply MeAndBoo May 7, 2012 at 3:28 am

    Great idea! I shall certainly be making use of this for wrapping the next pressie.

  • Reply Sabine May 7, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Thanks for those lovely colors. I love especially your painting with different patterns and the ocean glass. A wonderful idea! :)

  • Reply fenny setiawan May 7, 2012 at 9:38 am

    I love this post and the color really soothe my day :). The blue gradient is beautifully arranged. My most fave will be the doilies dip into the water color for gift wrapping, I will try it out my self.

  • Reply Miss Milky May 7, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Nice work! Love watercolors and shades of blue…

  • Reply Joybucket May 7, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Your watercolor painting project would make a great cheater quilt. You could scan it and have it digitally printed. I look forward to these Color Me Pretty posts. Thank you.

  • Reply leslie May 7, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Thank you for all the wonderful comments!

    Hi Eva- I used acrylics on a regular canvas in the second to last photo. I just watered some of the acrylics down.

  • Reply Chantal Vandenberg May 8, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Wow!!! I’m wanting to paint now! TFS! :D

  • Reply The Single Nester May 9, 2012 at 12:26 am

    Just love those shades of blue.

  • Reply sabarinath May 9, 2012 at 8:29 am

    this is a beautiful blog

  • Reply Shabby Chic Decor May 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    So stunning. I love all the shades of blue and the mood board is perfect inspiration!

  • Reply Rodinia May 9, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Ohhhh blue (and green) is my favorite color !!! Your work on shades is really beautiful !!

  • Reply Imiw May 11, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Oh! i love the Colors!

  • Reply Shannon Willey May 14, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    This is sooo beautiful! I have been inspired. Thank you!

  • Reply frank May 16, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    I really like the color you picked out for the fabric collage, placed against the white wall is pretty. Did you end up filling the entire wall?

  • Reply ALEXANDRA May 21, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    oh my, I think WATERCOLORS is my next painting course…this is soooo lovely!! thank you

  • Reply August 12, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    these are absolutely stunning!

  • Reply anmaco October 3, 2012 at 11:39 am

    c’est magnifique, merci !!!!!

  • Reply Ivy October 4, 2012 at 1:32 am

    So beautiful and serene! I absolutely love these whimsical and pretty posts from Leslie! Thank you for sharing! xo.

  • Reply Sophia October 11, 2012 at 5:03 am

    wow~ i love ur painting~ it looks peaceful and pretty..
    i live near the beach in vancouver and the sea is blue ~

  • Reply val/mra December 13, 2012 at 9:45 am

    how all these diferent blues are so beautifull!!

  • Reply Vera February 4, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    I love the dyed doilies, what a great idea!

  • Reply uk bathrooms February 25, 2013 at 10:43 am

    I love this! I tried to make something similar once ago, for my bathroom. Finally I decided to wait until I restyle and change all the room… But it is something I want to put there!

  • Reply Veronica March 19, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    I absolutely love those doilies, they would be the perfect touch on a gift. And hot pink would be adorable, please share when you do them!

  • Reply Michelle January 6, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    These are absolutely beautiful!


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