11" x 14" Watercolor
Karen A. Cooke
As summer is coming to a close and thoughts are turning to fall, I thought I would paint one more memory from the beach. The above painting is a view of the sunrise at the pier looking across at the shore where the land juts out. The fishing boats have already headed out for their day on the water, the tourists have not stirred from the hotels and it is just the sun, the ocean and the birds out this early on the pier. So, now to capture this scene to bring back memories when the snow is falling outside.
Watercolor paper (size of your choice)
(The watercolor above is a 11" x 14" done on Arches 140 lb. cold press paper.)
Masking Fluid with applicator or old brush
Brushes: flat and round (size of your choice based on the size of your paper)
- Cerulean Blue
- Ultramarine Blue
- Windsor Blue
- Medium Yellow
- Light Yellow
- Cadmium Red
- Cadmium Orange
- Sap Green, if desired
- Paynes Gray
- Van Dyke Brown
Tape the watercolor paper to your board with masking tape to prevent buckling of the paper. This painting will use a wet on wet technique for the sky and the ocean which will get your paper extremely wet.
Sketch the painting. Using the photo above for reference, lightly sketch the picture. Use a ruler to draw the straight lines of the pier.
Using the masking fluid, mask in the sun, a few of the clouds (the ones painted yellow or peach only), and the reflection of the sun on the water. Mask the yellow light at the top of the lamp post. Allow to dry.
Prepare the following washes for the sky area:
- Cerulean Blue
- Peach - mixed from Cadmium Red, Cadmium Orange and Yellow
Note: You will be painting over the top of your sketch since all the other colors in this painting are darker than the sky and the sketch will be seen through the wash you have applied. This will make for a smooth transition of color.
Wet the ocean with clean water. Using the same colors you used for the sky, apply in the reverse order: peach at the horizon moving to darker blue at the bottom of the painting.
This can be painted in one of 2 ways:
- Start at the horizon and work down to the bottom of the page, or
- Turn the painting with the bottom at the top and work from the top down to the horizon.
Note: Increase the intensity of the peach/orange at the location of the sun - both in the sky and on the water.
Allow to dry.
Prepare a wash of a light purple using a mix of blue and Cadmium Red. Paint the distant land mass on the left side working to the right where it meets the trees on the nearer shore. Prepare a wash of Vandyke Brown and paint the trees on the right shore. Allow to dry. Prepare a wash of Sepia and apply using a dabbing stroke to indicate tree foliage on the right hand side. Make this random and let the lighter brown wash show through in various places. Deepen the foliage area at the base of the shoreline. Allow to dry.
Sun and Clouds:
Sun: Remove the masking fluid from the sun and the clouds. Wet the sun with clean water and apply the Light Yellow paint at the edges of the circle for the sun. Note: Leave the top center of the sun white. You can add a bit of green flash to the sun using a touch of green - wait until almost dry to add the green so that it will not spread into the entire area. Allow to dry.
Sun Reflection in the water:
Using light yellow drop in the sun's reflection, again leaving some of the area in the center white paper. Allow to dry.
Using peach and yellow, paint in the clouds that were masked. Use the photo above for reference.
Paint the other clouds using the purple paint used in the previous step for the land on the horizon. Vary the shapes of the clouds. Allow to dry.
Pier, Posts and Light:
Using a wash of Sepia and Paynes Gray, paint the pier in a wet on dry method. If you feel your brush may be unsteady and your bridge lines wavy, apply masking tape on both sides of the rails of the pier to paint. This will ensure a straight line. Remove the masking tape immediately after painting to prevent any bleeding of paint under the tape.
Paint the pier supports (vertical posts) in the same method as above. However, these posts will be darker in color since they are in the shadow of the pier.
Paint the lamp post and lantern using the same colors as the pier. Keep the center white. When the lamp post drives paint in the yellow light on each side of the lantern. Leave a bit of white in the center. Allow to dry.
Rocks in the water:
Paint the rocks using a wash of Sepia and Paynes Gray. Each rock is done separately. First, wet the rock with clean water and paint the rocks with Paynes Gray and drop in Sepia and Ultramarine blue in various locations on the rocks to add texture and shadow. Allow to dry.
Water and Pier shadows:
Water and Waves:
Prepare a wash of Cerulean Blue, Ultramarine and Windsor Blue. Working from the bottom of the painting and from right to left, use the darkest shades of blue to paint in waves and shadows around the rocks. The darkest colors of blue are used to paint the water under the pier in the shadowed area.
Prepare a wash of the peach and paint the waves in the top section of the painting with the peach and the lightest blue (Cerulean). Add a few peach waves in the darker areas of the waves to show where the sun is hitting the water. Allow to dry.
Using a wash of the same colors used to paint the pier supports, paint in broken lines for shadows moving down toward the bottom of the paper. Refer to photo for reference. Allow to dry.
Look over your painting and add any details you feel are needed.
Sign your painting! Congratulations! You can now take a trip to the beach any time you would like.....from your nice, warm home when the weather is stormy, snowy and cold!