It’s not surprising – considering my love for the beach – that my house has a beachy vibe. If you’d like to add a coastal feeling to your home here are some ideas:
- Use light neutral paint colors. My walls are off white and light gray. Moldings are white.
- Sand beneath your feet – but not literally. My area rugs are sand colored and textured.
- A view of the ocean. We all can’t have a priceless view, but we can make up for it by displaying a seascape. Order a print of Blue Wave #11 (displayed above) now by clicking here.
- Introduce pops of blues and greens. I have a turquoise coffee table, pillows, a lamp, and other accessories.
- Display your collections of shells, beach pebbles, and driftwood. Glass jars work great.
- Buy beachy accessories – a lighthouse, a crane, whale, whatever!
Prints of my watercolor beach paintings are now for sale at shop.eileenmckenna.com. Take a peek!
For links to Beachy DIY projects visit:
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!
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!
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!
I’ve aspired to capture the ocean in watercolor for years. In December I made “painting the beach” my New Year’s project. The snow was falling outside, but I was inside painting waves. With each painting I learned and improved.
Some of my firsts in early January.
I watched a few YouTube videos and learned from others (and wrote about it here.)
I tried new tools and supplies and incorporated them into my process.
I’ve kept with it and over six months later I still often paint the ocean. In some ways I feel like I’ve found my thing.
Yesterday I was standing in the ocean, watching the waves break, watching the foam churned up by the waves wash in and out. It was surreal, like standing in a painting and all I could think about was white gouache.
Have you read:
Yesterday I finished this painting. It went through an ugly stage and was at risk of being abandoned, but I recently picked it up again and continued to work at it. I really like the big border I left – made easy by using thick tape on the edges. As I was finishing it, I was thinking that I liked how it came out, but I wasn’t emotionally tied to it and would be able to part with the original.
Then I looked at it again and thought, nope I don’t want to part with this one! This seems to be a common occurance for me. I want to sell but don’t want to part with the originals. Recently I met with an art print company. They make giclee prints. These high quality prints seem to be the perfect compromise. I can sell but keep the originals.
I’ve been looking through my paintings to find a few favorites to start with. I’ll keep you posted. 😀
Have you seen the beach pin I had made from an illustration of mine? Perfect for your beach hat or bag! Click below to order one.
Beach Pin – 1″ soft enamel pin with rubber clutch
U.S. orders only.
It was a beautiful spring day, really the perfect day. I went running, spent time with family, and lots of time outside. We barbecued and shared lots of laughs with the kids. And I started a new beach painting. 😀
Hope you enjoyed the day too!
I was so happy to have time this weekend to start AND finish a new beach painting. On Saturday I painted the first layers.
On Sunday I added the details – more lights, more darks. I use a lot of white gouache!
I wasn’t sure it was done, but I propped the painting up on a shelf and looked at it from across the room. What a difference compared to staring at it up close. From across the room I declared, “It’s done.” 🙂
Have you read:
Recently I created a little swatch guide for all the blue watercolor paints I’d accumulated. Today I used it to help me pick a blue for my ocean mix and a blue for the sky.
Want to learn more about my process for painting the beach? Click here.