Painting a beach scene is not hard, but where do you begin? Follow these step by step directions and you will have a fantastic painting of your favorite beach in no time!
Sketch in the drawing
Do not worry, the sketch does not have to be involved. You should determine where you want the water to meet the sky and sketch in this horizon line. Next, determine if there will be any boats, islands or land visible in the painting and sketch those in as well.
Paint in the sky and clouds
With white, paint in the entire sky to the horizon. Now with blue, start at the top of the canvas and blend down. This will create a sky that is darker at the top and lighter or fade into white where it reaches the sea. This is a beautiful effect. You will paint right over the reference line you drew in. This is OK because the line was there just for reference.
Let the paint dry before painting clouds if you are using acrylic paint. If you are using oil or watercolor go ahead and start the clouds on the wet canvas. Now with white and maybe a touch of blue and or crimson add first layer of clouds using circular motions. Keep the tops of clouds distinct, but blend the bottoms of them. With circular motions paint in second layer of clouds using white. Keep tops distinct and blend bottoms. Don’t cover up all of your background clouds. Leave interesting pockets.
Paint in the Sand or Beach
Using yellow ochre and or raw sienna and paint in the sand. Do not blend too much. The changes in color variations keep it interesting. You can use a stiff paint brush or toothbrush to flick color onto the sand for effects of small rocks and pebbles. Make the sand color go deeply into where the water will be. You will paint the water color right over the top of it – or at least some of it, but you need it done this way so it looks realistically like a seashore.
Paint in the Water
Starting at the horizon line, add blue to create water. Use very even and horizontal strokes at the horizon. As you come forward, the strokes could be a little uneven for a motion effect. Use blues and greens and maybe even some burnt sienna where you want the water to appear darker. The water gets darker as you come forward. Leave some streaks of white to look like ripples and waves. Add some dark shadows under and to one side of things like boats if there are any in your painting. This will create an effect of cast shadows. If you haven’t already – “pull” the water into the sand using white. Make sure that you keep the strokes horizontal.
Add Land and Cottages
Fill in distant hills with a pale blue green mixture. Darken the mixture and add a few bushes or trees in front of that. There should not be much detail if the land is far away. Add any houses or cottages. They should not be too large. As far as shading, if the light is coming in from the left, the right side of buildings and roofs would be darker because they are in shadow. Detail houses, add some little yellow/orange lights in the windows.
Add birds flying, seagulls, sea or oat grass, people or figures on the beach, and do not forget to sign your painting!
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