There is a real benefit to painting the same subject over and over. You get better at it, you get faster. I noticed this the other day when I painted a complete beach scene from start to finish in one sitting. I had such a sense of accomplishment! Before this, I was still figuring things out. I often had several paintings going at once, adding details here and there and working on getting the water to look right. This time it was almost easy, I was stunned. How’d I do that? I realized I’d developed a process for painting the beach. I knew the steps to take to achieve a certain look.
My Process for painting the beach:
- Colors – mixes of blue, yellow, and red watercolors
- Use painter’s tape to achieve a straight horizon line
- Paint the ocean water closest to the horizon darker and bluer
- Water in the cresting wave is lighter and greener
- Water in front of the wave is a darker shade of the green
- Water gets browner – more red – closer to the shore
- Add white gouache for foam and spray. More foam closer to shore.
- A flat brush helps achieve the horizontal lines that make things appear flat.
- Sand is darkest closest to the water
- The foam of the breaking wave has shadows in it
- Sky is lighter closest to horizon
Give this process for painting the beach a try and let me know how it goes!
**UPDATE – Read my recent detailed post “How to Paint the Ocean with Watercolor & Gouache”**
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See my watercolor and acrylic seascapes at shop.eileenmckenna.com.