My Creative Resolution – Watercolor, Illustration, Print Pattern Design


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Surf Collection

Surf Camp #1 by Eileen McKenna https://shop.eileenmckenna.com/Surf Camp #2 by Eileen McKenna https://shop.eileenmckenna.com/
Surf Camp is the third collection of watercolor paintings I’ve released as Limited Edition Giclee Art Prints in my online shop. While my previous paintings featured bright blue skies, for these two paintings I had the pleasure of painting dark cloudy skies.

The Green Collection by Eileen McKenna | watercolor beach ocean landscapes available as limited edition giclee art prints at shop.eileenmckenna.com The Blue Collection by Eileen McKenna | watercolor beach ocean landscapes available as limited edition giclee art prints

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The Green Collection

The Green Collection by Eileen McKenna | watercolor beach ocean landscapes available as limited edition giclee art prints at shop.eileenmckenna.com
I’ve added six new paintings to my online shop! Four of the paintings are “The Green Collection.” You may remember that in August I launched my shop with “The Blue Collection.” Grouping the paintings by the color of the ocean made perfect sense to me when the giclee printer suggested it. Something that has always fascinated me about the ocean, is how the same water, in the same place, can be different colors at different times.

The Green Collection is the second set of watercolor paintings I’ve released as Limited Edition Giclee Art Prints. Click here to visit my online shop.

The paintings in the Green Collection are (from left to right):

  • Jetty Surfer
  • Breaking Wave
  • Rolling In
  • Windy Day

The Blue Collection by Eileen McKenna | watercolor beach ocean landscapes available as limited edition giclee art prints at shop.eileenmckenna.com


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Being “In” a Painting

Painting waves in watercolor | creative habitsPainting for an entire hour proved impossible this morning, as I had things to do. But a half hour is better than nothing. As I worked, I thought about how daily work keeps you “in” a painting. You’re engaged in the project, even thinking about it when you are away from it. Being “in” a painting helps bring you back to your creativity. It’s easier to get to work – you know what to work on, perhaps you’ve even thought out how to tackle an area of the painting. But when a few days pass without revisiting your painting or project, that thread is broken. It’s harder to motivate to sit down and create, because you might not remember where you left off or possibly even what you were working on.

Want a dose of creative inspiration? Sign up for my newsletter “My Creative Collection” by clicking here. Learn more about the newsletter here.

Prints of my watercolor beach paintings are now for sale at shop.eileenmckenna.com. Take a peek!
The Blue Collection by Eileen McKenna | watercolor beach ocean landscapes available as limited edition giclee art prints


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It starts with mixing colors

It starts with mixing colors | Painting the ocean
After I use painter’s tape to mark the horizon, I mix the colors. I use a blue, this time Prussian Blue, and Cadmium Red and Cadmium Yellow. The color of the ocean, even in the same place, changes. So many things cause this including the weather, the light. It’s blue, it’s green, it’s brown, it’s grey.
Mixing watercolor paint to paint the ocean
I start painting the ocean at the horizon line and move towards the shore. The water is browner closer to the beach. I add a layer of the brown before I use white gouache to create the foam.
Mixing watercolor paint to paint the ocean
The color of the sand is another challenge – one I’ve been contemplating on and off for 3 1/2 years. For this painting I tried something new and added Burnt Sienna to my mix of blue, red, yellow.

Want a dose of creative inspiration? Sign up for my newsletter “My Creative Collection” by clicking here. Learn more about the newsletter here.

Prints of my watercolor beach paintings are now for sale at shop.eileenmckenna.com. Take a peek!
The Blue Collection by Eileen McKenna | watercolor beach ocean landscapes available as limited edition giclee art prints


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Swimming. A Creative Muse

Swim Meet
The competitive swim season ended a few weeks ago. With only a week left in summer, we will probably visit the town pool only once or twice more. The pool and swimming has been a source of creative inspiration for me for the past few years.

This summer I designed fabrics in the swimming/pool theme:
Pool themed fabric designs - Swimming Laps, Pool Tiles, Goggles. Fabrics for all the swimmers!
Click
here for more info on the fabrics.

and did two paintings:
Watercolor Swim Race by Eileen McKenna.
Swim meet warm ups. Painting swimming pools in watercolor.

Here are other swim inspired pieces from previous years:

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The last item in the slideshow (the “Vets” cards with goggles) was the first time I added ink to a watercolor. It was a turning point for me and has become something I do often.

Want to read more about the place, artists and makers, etc. inspiring me? Sign up for my newsletter “My Creative Collection” by clicking here! My goal is to inspire you! Learn more about the newsletter here.


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A Cloudy Day at Surf Camp

The second day my son participated in surf camp was a cloudy day. When I saw my pictures I decided to try to paint the clouds, as many of my ocean paintings have clear blue skies.

"A Cloudy Day at Surf Camp"

Close up of the sky:
Painting a cloudy sky in watercolor

The start:
Painting the ocean in watercolor

Progress on the water:
Painting the ocean in watercolor

As much as I have developed a process for painting the ocean, with each painting I still have to figure things out – mixing the right colors and shades, capturing the details of the waves. It’s still a challenge, but a rewarding one!

Prints of my watercolor beach paintings are now for sale at shop.eileenmckenna.com. Take a peek!
The Blue Collection by Eileen McKenna | watercolor beach ocean landscapes available as limited edition giclee art prints


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Jetty

Jetty by Eileen McKenna, beach watercolor painting available as giclee art prints.
The focus of this painting is the rocks – the jetty. I had fun creating the different shapes and shadows of the rocks. I’m especially proud of the wet look of the sand where the water has just receded. And of course this painting needed a seagull.

The beaches in my hometown are delineated by the jetties. They are an unmistakable characteristic of our beaches. So it seemed appropriate to have them be the star of a painting.

“Jetty” is part of “the Blue Collection” and is available as a Limited Edition Giclee Art Print in my online shop!


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Side Surfer

Side Surfer by Eileen McKenna. Watercolor painting available as limited edition giclee art prints | beach | surfing | surfer | waves
I primarily paint from my own photos. It’s nice to incorporate that into the process of a painting – capturing a moment that strikes me and later painting it. This painting is from a photo I took at my hometown beach of Long Beach, NY.

It’s taken from the angle of one set of jetties, looking towards the next set – the “side.” What I love about this painting is how much it reminds me of Long Beach – the jetty, the color of the water, the surfer, the waves, even the familiar angle – as you cross over the rocks and step onto the next beach.

“Side Surfer” is part of “the Blue Collection” and is available as a Limited Edition Giclee Art Print in my online shop!


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Blue Wave #11

"Blue Wave #11" by Eileen McKenna. Watercolor ocean paintings available as art giclee prints. Beach | ocean | art | surf | waves
This painting was a break through for me. It was the first painting where I used white gouache – more opaque than watercolor paint – to paint the foam and spray. Before this I relied on the white of the paper for those areas. Using gouache allowed me to create more depth in the foam and waves.

When I polled family and friends on which of my paintings I should make available as prints, everyone had #11 on their list. (#11 was the number I’d assigned to it.) It was written so often, it became #11 in my mind, so it seemed fitting to call it Blue Wave #11.

When I posted Blue Wave #11, I got such a great response! Comments included, “I can smell the salty air of the ocean” and “Soothing, as if I can almost hear the wave breaking.” It’s gratifying to feel you’ve made a breakthrough and then also have people respond to positively.

“Blue Wave #11” is part of “the Blue Collection” and is available as a Limited Edition Giclee Art Print in my online shop!


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Waiting

Waiting by Eileen McKenna. Beach watercolor painting. Ocean landscape. The Blue Collection
This watercolor was painted at the beginning of my “painting the beach” project, in early January. The painting is based on a photo I took on New Year’s Day. You can tell it’s a cold day because the surfer – who is just noticeable – is all in black, in a wetsuit and cap. He has let a wave pass him by while he waits for a better one, hence the name of the painting “Waiting.”

“Waiting” is part of “the Blue Collection” and is available as a Limited Edition Giclee Art Print in my online shop!