Painting Sand

What color is sand? This is something I’ve been trying to figure out, since I first started painting the beach. I’ve had some successes and some failures. I’ve sat at the beach and wondered, what color is that? I think the challenge is, that sand is different colors, even on the same beach. The dry sand furthest from the ocean is one color. As you get closer to the water, and the sand gets wetter, it changes color. Even the individual grains of sand are different colors. The sun also plays a role in the changing appearance of the sand.

In my last post, I detailed how I mixed the color of the sand (maybe in too much detail!). I wanted to keep track of the process I used, in case it was successful. Sometimes I’m not even sure if I like a color, until the paint has dried. In this painting I think the overall color is good, but I may need to tone down the yellow.


Here are some other acrylic attempts at sand. The first one is awful. The second one is an okay attempt at wet sand. I did it in a class and have no idea how I mixed it. The third one is okay, but again I don’t even know what color it is. Note to self: keep track of the colors you use!

acrylic sand

I think I’ve been a bit more successful in watercolor, probably because I’ve had more practice. The sand in the first painting is too purple, although I like the texture of it. The second is okay. In the third painting, I am really proud of how I captured the color of the wet sand. It is one of my favorite paintings.

 bikeboardwalk Kids at the Beach

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