My Creative Resolution – Watercolor, Illustration, Print Pattern Design


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Wave print on canvas!

Seascape canvas print of Blue Wave #11 by Eileen McKenna | #coastalart
I paint in watercolor and have only dabbled with acrylics on canvas. Seeing one of my watercolors blown up and printed on canvas is really exciting. It adds another layer of interest to the painting. A few steps away you see the ocean and the waves. When you step closer you see the brushstrokes.

The design of my home is, not surprisingly, very beachy. So this canvas, Blue Wave #11, fits right in. Next up to select a few of my square ocean paintings, have them printed on canvas, and hang them side by side.

All the paintings in my shop are available as Giclee art prints on gallery wrapped canvas. Take a look at shop.eileenmckenna.com.

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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.

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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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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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Capturing the Ocean in Watercolor

Painting the beach nd ocean in watercolor

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.
Painting waves in watercolor

I watched a few YouTube videos and learned from others (and wrote about it here.)
14 tips on painting waves in watercolor

I tried new tools and supplies and incorporated them into my process.
Process for Painting the Beach in Watercolor

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.

Original beach watercolor landscape by Eileen McKenna

Have you read:
Six Ways to bring the Beach into your Home https://mycreativeresolution.com/2017/05/19/six-ways-to-brin…h-into-your-home/


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Parting with originals

Original beach watercolor landscape by Eileen McKenna
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
Beach Pin – 1″ soft enamel pin with rubber clutch
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