It is so helpful watching instructional videos and seeing someone break down their steps as they paint. After watching three short videos on painting waves, I came away with several tips.
- Determine what direction the light is coming from
- Create the waves with dark and light areas.
- Where is the detail in the painting? And therefore where is the eye drawn to? Contrasts also draw the eye.
- Keep slivers of white (the paper) which suggests waves in the distance. Add dark areas in front of these.
- Blotting with a tissue can create the spray of a wave
- Dark edges makes the foam look thicker
- Wet sand has blue in it
- Horizontal strokes in your painting make things look flatter – use a flat brush
- Use other colors in the sky, not just blue
- There is a reflection in things that are wet and shiny – like wet sand
- The position of the horizon line effects the vantage point of the painting (where you are standing on the beach)
- The water is greener closer to the shore
- Colors in a painting – use the same colors throughout your whole painting
As I’ve practiced, I’ve come up with my own tips, including:
- Use white gouache to add foam areas, spray, waves in the distance, etc.
Read more about my process for painting the beach here.
Here are links to the videos I watched:
- Painting wet sand in watercolor by Grant Fuller
- Painting a breaking wave in watercolor by Ron Hazell
- How to paint ocean shore waves in juicy watercolors by Chris Petri
Exciting News! I’ve released my first set of watercolor paintings as Limited Edition Giclee Art Prints. Visit my online shop at shop.eileenmckenna.com.
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