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!
The goal of this painting was to capture the details of the wave as it crashes – the shadows inside the foam, the spray, the movement.
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Prints of my watercolor beach paintings are now for sale at shop.eileenmckenna.com. Take a peek!
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.
Preoccupied with other things, I didn’t sit down to paint much this week. So, it feels particularly good to make some progress on this painting today. This painting has been hanging around for a few weeks. It was definitely at risk of going into the scrap pile. But I try to give each one a chance. I know from experience that even the worst beginnings, can surprise you in the end.
I’m thankful for today’s snow day and the break from everyday life. That and a few days of sketching figures gave me the push to finally finish this beach scene with the three girls playing in the surf. I’ve been afraid to finish this one – afraid of ruining it. As I sat down to work on it, I thought, “Done is better than unfinished, no matter what the result.” And the more I work on painting figures, and getting the shadows right, the more I’ll learn.
I use watercolor pencils to draw the figures. Just wet the lines and it disappears!
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