Painting the sea, water’s edge and waves with watercolor

Painting the sea and water’s edge

With the sand dry it is time for painting the sea. See figure 18.

The sea was painted with a mixture of French Ultramarine, Alizarin Crimson and a touch of Burnt Sienna. Notice how only a thin sliver of water is actually painted. This gives the impression of space to the scene. it also avoids a common problem with beach scenes of the water looking like it is flowing up hill.

Painting the sea and waves breaking on beach with watercolor paints
Figure 18: Painting the sea, waves, and water’s edge with watercolor

Also look at how I used quick dry brush strokes to create the feeling of foam on the water. I also ensured that the water color was lighter in the distance than in the foreground, though this is not so easily seen in the photograph.

Finally, look at how I used curved lines of varying shape and direction to add motion to the waves as they washed up on the shore. The trick to painting the seas in this type of scene is not to try and paint too much detail but to let the variety of brush strokes and the spaces between them give the impression of waves flowing onto the sandy shore.

With the water painted we can now tackle the figures.

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