Painting sand with watercolor: Surf Beach

Watercolor Painting Sand

We will now look at painting sand with watercolor.

Mix the sand color using Raw Umber.  The mixture should be about the consistency of full cream milk. Obviously different sands have different colors, you may need to adjust this if the sand in your location or your reference photo is quite different. I have seen beaches of red sand, black sand, and almost white sand.

With clean water wet the area of the sand that will run into the ocean.  You can see this in the previous step.

When painting sand you need to ensure that the rules of perspective still apply. The main one is that the sand in the distance will have a lighter tone than in the foreground. Now pick up some of your pre mixed raw umber and dip the brush into clean water, to about ½” (1cm).  This dilutes the paint mix and we will use this to put a Raw Umber underwash in the main hill and also the distant part of the beach.  As you come down your paper pick up more pre mixed paint but do not dip the brush into water now.  This will mean the paint you lay down towards the front of the painting will be stronger in consistency (thicker) than the paint used near the hill.  This will give depth to your painting.  If you think your initial mix is not strong enough add more Raw Umber into it as you paint down the page. While the sand area is still wet you can splatter a stronger mix of Raw Umber into the foreground area to add more interest to the scene.  Basically the splatter adds more variety to the flat foreground area, hence creating more of a feast for the viewer’s eyes, through variety of different edges.

Painting sand with watercolors Surf Beach
Painting sand with watercolors Surf Beach

Let this dry completely!

Continue to: How to paint distant hills on the coast