10 Ways to Paint the Sea with WatercolorsThe sea is a beautiful and inspiring subject to paint with watercolors. The ever-changing light, the vastness of the ocean, and the intricate details of seashells and waves can all be captured with flowing watercolors. In this blog post, I will share my top 10 tips for painting the sea with watercolors. These tips will help you to create beautiful and realistic seascapes that will capture the beauty of the ocean.
Tip 1: Use a range of colorsDepending on the light of the day and your location, the colors of the sea changes. Look carefully at your scene, the water could be blue, green, turquoise and sometimes even muddy colors.
Tip 2: Master wet-on-wet painting.This is a technique where you apply wet paint to wet paper. This allows the colors to blend together and create blossoms and sometimes soft, hazy edges.
Tip 3: Use a variety of techniques to create different effects.For example, you can use a drybrush technique to create the illusion of foam or sparkling water, or you can use a blending technique to create smooth, undulating waves.
Tip 4: Pay attention to the light.The light on the sea is constantly changing, so it is important to pay attention to the way that the light is hitting your subject. This will help you to create realistic seascapes that capture the beauty of the ocean.
Tip 5: Don’t be afraid to experiment.Watercolor is a versatile medium, so there are endless possibilities when it comes to painting the sea. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques and colors to see what works best for you. Sometimes I splatter paint, use masking fluid to save light shapes, and layer up color for depth.
Tip 6: Choose the right paper.The type of paper that you use can have a big impact on the look of your seascape painting. Different papers react differently to paint. I use Fabriano 140# Cold Press Watercolor Paper with 100% Cotton for the best results. This paper allows you to lift color back up off the paper with your paintbrush to create ripples in the water.
Tip 7: Start with a light touch.When you are first starting out, it is important to start with a light touch. With watercolor you start with the lights then add in medium values then dark values. Be patient and layer up your colors.
Tip 8: Use a really good brush.Each type of brush has its own unique qualities, so it is important to experiment to find the brushes that work best for you. I prefer the Dynasty Black Gold 311 Quill brush in a size 2 for many of my paintings. If it’s a larger painting possibly choose a 4. Remember to paint with the side of your brush and the point as needed. Check out my favorite watercolor brush here.
Tip 9: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.Watercolor is a very forgiving medium, so don’t be afraid to make mistakes. In fact, mistakes can often lead to interesting and unexpected results. The important thing is to experiment and to have fun.
Tip 10: Find inspiration in being there.The best way to learn how to paint the sea with watercolor is to find inspiration in being there. Go to the beach and observe the shapes, colors and the light. Take photos and make sketches of the seascapes that you see. This will help you to develop your own unique point-of-view of seascape painting.
Painting the sea with watercolor can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By following the tips in this blog post, you can create beautiful and realistic seascapes that will capture the beauty of the ocean.
If you are interested in learning more about how to paint the sea with watercolor, I encourage you to enroll in my Watercolors-by-the-Sea class. In this class, you will learn all of the techniques that you need to know to create beautiful seascapes. You will also have access to a private Facebook group where you can ask questions and get feedback from other students.
Enroll in my Watercolors-by-the-Sea class today and start painting the sea like a pro!