Learn how to paint ocean with a basic seascape painting. Enjoying the ocean with the crashing waves and smelling the salt air can be a mesmerizing experience.
Let's translate our ocean experiences to the artist's canvas.
Many of us have been to the ocean and seen its beauty and wonder. Let's look at a photo and see what we can learn about the ocean.
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Let's take what we have learned and do a basic seascape painting that includes a foam burst.
This painting is done on a 'ad' 11x14 gallery wrap canvas.
Hog Hair brushes 'ad' are normally used to paint ocean.
When you have it figured out then -
Normally I use thinned yellow paint because it is easy to paint over. This time I used Ultramarine Blue, so it would show up better in the photograph.
You will be blending the colors later or adding other colors on top of the blocked-in colors. If the blocked-in paint is too thick, it will just make a mess.
Mix your blue and green for a dark color to start painting at the horizon.
Use more green as you come forward. Add a bit of white as you come forward more.
Put a few streaks of darker green on the light green areas to indicate shadowed water.
The wave will be darker at the base because the base is the thickest part of the wave.
Gradually lighten the wave towards the top by adding more white or a pale yellow.
Paint the spill-over with a lighter green because it is not very thick at all.
Painting a wave is foundational for how to paint ocean.
Mix your blue with white. If it looks too blue add a tiny touch of Burnt Sienna to tone it down.
The light is coming from the left, so the sky is lighter on the left and darkens slightly to the right.
The sky gets lighter toward the horizon. Warm up the blue with a bit of green toward the horizon.
Horizontal water reflects the sky colors. So, use the sky blues on the water in front of the wave.
When you are learning how to paint ocean, use your artistic license. Mix in some of the ocean colors for variety.
More blue makes the mix darker. Mix the color lighter or darker by varying the amount of blue.
The rocks will normally be darker down by the water where the get wet.
To help get the shape of the rocks, think of the rocks as a box with a top and sides.
Paint it where the sunlight would be striking.
The sun would be hitting the top of the clouds, the top of the foam areas and also some of the wavelets in the foreground water.
When you are learning how to paint ocean remember the direction of the sunlight. The sun is coming from the left.
There will be a soft line between the shadows and the highlights, no hard lines.
When we paint ocean, there will be no hard lines because everything is moving.
When we learn how to paint ocean, remember aerial perspective will make them look closer together in the distance.
Then pull the sunlight color on in a few places. Put some darker water in front of the waves for their shadows.
The highlights in the shadow areas will be greyed by adding blue to the mixture.
Some of the shadowed areas may be very dark.
Splash a bit of shadowed foam against the base of the rocks.
Use the lavender or grey shadow color (your choice of color) and highlight the foam with sunlight in a few places.
Use a medium water color to paint a shadow under the foam that is capping over the top of the transparent wave.
The ocean is one of my favorite things and it's a fun challenge to paint.
Painting anything takes practice. The more you paint, the better your paintings will be.
Don't try to be perfect. Just paint and enjoy the journey.