Beach Time – Cape Hatteras
The watercolor painting above is another one of the paintings from my watercolor journal done while on vacation at the Outer Banks. Beach scenes lend themselves to watercolor medium since the paints in sky, the ocean and the beach blend together effortlessly in watercolor.
Various colors and shades of blue are used both in the water and the sky. The intensity of the color changes based on the sky condition and water depth.
The sunnier the day, the lighter the intensity of the blue for the sky. The deeper the water, the darker the intensity of the blue for the water. Also, remember the water is not only blue, but contains shades of green. The sky is not only blue, but may have various shades of red to purple to gray mixed in. Both the sky and the water reflect the colors from each.
Before, starting to paint, look at the sky and the water….really LOOK at the colors of which each are comprised and use those colors to your advantage in your painting. The use of various shades and intensities of color will make your painting more interesting and realistic.
140 lb. watercolor paper* or watercolor journal
(I used a journal for these paintings, as I painted while on vacation.)
*Always prepare your paper by using masking tape to secure to a board.
Brushes: Size of your choice
½” flat brush
Liner or detail brush
- Cerulean blue
- Windsor Blue
- Ultramarine blue
- Payne’s Gray
- Sap Green
- Yellow Ochre
- Alizarin Crimson
- VanDyke Brown
There is not much sketching to do on a seascape. I lightly sketched in the horizon and the location where the beach met the water. That was it! Now, let’s get started painting!
Paint in your sky first using a wet on wet technique down to the horizon where the sky meets the water. I used Cerulean Blue at the top section of sky and painted around the clouds. Using a mix of Cerulean Blue and Windsor Blue paint the sky under the clouds dropping in a mix of crimson at the bottom of the clouds and allow to mix with the blue to make purple. Allow the sky to become almost white at the horizon. A touch of Payne’s gray can also be dropped in the base of the clouds. Using gray and blues and a round brush, add shape to the clouds. Use a paper towel to gently lift and shape some of the blue paint to further indicate clouds. Allow to dry.
Paint in the ocean using varying shades of Window Blue. Painting across and down add a small amount of sap green leaving small areas of white to indicate waves. Adding a touch of sap green to the blue helps separate the sky from the water, yet tie the two together. Work your paint around the waves which are bigger where they hit the beach. Using a round brush and light shades of paint, swirl the paint lightly in the waves to indicate movement. Allow the ocean to dry.
The small area of beach in the foreground is covered lightly in water. Leave some areas white, but paint in varying shades of Yellow Ochre and while still wet use a flat brush and pull in shades of blue and green. The deepest shade of Yellow Ochre is where the white waves meet the beach.
If you have trouble painting around the waves and leaving areas of the waves white, masking fluid can be used to mask off the waves while painting the water and then removed after the paint has dried. You will still need to go back and paint in some shadows in the waves to indicated movement. This will not allow your painting to be as spontaneous and it will be less impressionistic. I am an impressionistic painter so I prefer the look achieved when not using the masking fluid.
Check your painting for any details you may want to add. When satisfied, sign your painting!
Congratulations and Happy Painting!