How to Paint the Ocean with Watercolor and Gouache

The beach has been the backdrop of my life. It’s where I was born and raised, played, worked as a lifeguard…and now enjoy summer days with my family. I spend a lot of time learning and practicing capturing the ocean in watercolor. Download the full  “Waterscape Seascape Painting Tutorial,” in my Etsy shop. How to PaintContinue reading “How to Paint the Ocean with Watercolor and Gouache”

Making the Transition from Watercolor to Acrylic – Week 1

Final acrylic work for week 1. I’m happy with the results and learned a lot this week as I try painting in acrylic after working for so long in watercolor. Admittedly, the first day in my acrylic challenge was frustrating. I’m so used to working in watercolor where: A little paint goes a long wayContinue reading “Making the Transition from Watercolor to Acrylic – Week 1”

Capturing the Bluest Blue Sky

I’m happy with the results of the sky above, which is ironic because I thought this painting was a lost cause. This is what it looked like: In an effort to capture the saturated blue of the sky (with a hint of purple), I had previously used several colors (including cadmium red and ultramarine) andContinue reading “Capturing the Bluest Blue Sky”

No Expectations, No Pressure

I’ve learned that creating regularly makes me happy and starting the day by painting sets a great tone for the day. Sometimes I need to create without worrying about the outcome. It’s not always relaxing to sit and create something that you plan on posting or selling. Sometimes I pick something that’s a challenge forContinue reading “No Expectations, No Pressure”

Watercolor Skies

Prints available at shop.eileenmckenna.com. When I first started painting my seascapes, the skies were simple blue gradations, with the lightest blue closest to the horizon. With each seascape painting I started playing a bit more with the sky – trying to achieve the perfect sky blue, adding other colors as a glow on the horizon, addingContinue reading “Watercolor Skies”

Start with basic brushstrokes

It has been over a week since I last painted – gasp! Work has been busy and I could make other excuses. Things haven’t slowed down, BUT this morning instead of diving right in I thought, “Sometimes we have to make time for the things that are important to us.” I set up all myContinue reading “Start with basic brushstrokes”

Watercolor Painting “Must Haves”

I’ve joined in on the fun with Mollie Makes magazine, a lifestyle and craft magazine for those who live creatively, and followed the prompts for #molliemakersweek. Today’s prompt was “must haves.” I recommend these products to anyone starting out in watercolor. My “must haves” Fluid watercolor paper Canson multimedia sketchbook Painters tape Windsor Newton paints – ultramarine, cadmiumContinue reading “Watercolor Painting “Must Haves””

Creative Christmas countdown 2017

Last year I had a lot of fun drawing and painting every day to countdown until Christmas. I even uploaded some of my illustrations as ornament designs. See them all at http://www.zazzle.com/eileen_mckenna. I’ve decided to challenge myself again this year. The prompts are the same – it will be interesting to see how the sameContinue reading “Creative Christmas countdown 2017”

Creative hopefulness and working through the ugly stage of watercolor

I’m was excited to sit and paint yesterday morning. It felt like a clean slate as I’d be starting a new set of paintings. I have plenty of new beach photos to choose from because last week I took a spontaneous detour to the beach where I took tons of photos and videos. It’s beenContinue reading “Creative hopefulness and working through the ugly stage of watercolor”

My 11 month long project – Painting the Ocean

After participating in three separate month long challenges in 2016, I saw how focusing on a single theme or medium can lead to real progress in ideas or skills or both. So when I completed the last challenge I decided to focus January (2017) on figuring out how to paint the ocean. I often wondered,Continue reading “My 11 month long project – Painting the Ocean”