wave / watercolor practice


The ocean, it ain’t easy to paint. If I try about 100 more times maybe I’ll get it. That’s ok. This could take years. I won’t give up until I do my masterpiece, hopefully before I die. Until then, you might have to look at some bad art. hahahahahah  If you have any advice for me on technique that would be great.

It was nice out today. Not hot or cold, sunny with a nice breeze. Last time I went to First Landing State Park, by the time I left the parking lot was slam packed. I decided to try a watercolor sketch at Back Bay today because I thought it would be less crowded since it’s a holiday, and it was. I enjoyed sitting on a sand dune to paint this.

We might get some rain tomorrow and this week, so I wanted to get out today for a sketch.

I’ll keep all my bad attempts at painting waves. After I have a bunch of them I’ll take them all out with me and that will help me improve my technique if I can compare them to real live waves. It’s like figure drawing. I’ll keep at it but not constantly.  I go back to figure drawing again and again over the years, and I’m getting better at that. I might not do a figure drawing for a long time. but when you put an art down then pick it up years later, you can pick up where you left off. You don’t forget what you learned before. The hands have a memory and it doesn’t take much time to get back in your previous groove. It will be the same for me painting waves.

17 thoughts on “wave / watercolor practice”

  1. Not bad!
    The only thing I can say is keep practicing! I never did get the hang of it – water color or oil. I know my water color teacher gave me a painting for my mom that was a lighthouse on the edge of an ocean. I think, while she was painting and the paint was wet she took a dry brush and dabbed some of the paint away. That might help, I don’t know.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks about the sketch. One good thing about abstraction is that if it comes out unlike the artist hoped, the artist can still claim that’s how they wanted it to look! hahaha
      I love looking at Seurat’s paintings. Thanks for the link. I wish I could find info on his technique. I wonder if he did a solid underpainting, and if so, was that in the complimentary colors or the same color family. Also, I remember he used the paint straight out of the tube and something like 10 colors, but the time I looked it didn’t say exactly which colors. Pointillism is scientific. I think other pointillists used different techniques but his worked out the best. I tried pointillism before. Those paintings are an inspiration. I might give it another try since rainy weather will move in soon. I could buy a little flower for a subject.
      Have a good day, Sarah

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I like it, Chris! Personally I find the ocean really hard to manage in watercolor, largely because of the whole deal of reserving the whites, I think, and having enough contrast to help the sparkles stand out…I think you chose a great, super simple palette and used it well to convey motion! Of course, if it’s photographic replication that you’re after, then you have a way to go, yet, but it’s a great start! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so glad you shared your challenges with water! I’ve been trying to do a couple of water quilts – one of a river, one of the ocean – and they just aren’t working. I’m inspired to keep trying after reading about your experience!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a coincidence! I was just thinking about how WordPress is a chance for artists to show not only finished art but also to talk about all the struggles along the way. Our readers can see it isn’t easy and you get inspiration from others. And it’s free. There are so many ways to represent water. I’ll get something figured out or learn from someone else eventually. Thanks for your thoughts!


  4. I like your sketch, and I’m glad you’re keeping all of them. Looking at them later can bring all sorts of revelations. As to technique, there are a zillion ways to paint waves and you will eventually stumble upon one you like. As you’ve indicated, there’s no rush!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It would be easier to reference a “still” photo of the waves. Just paint or sketch what you think you see. Like a forest with its numerous greens, so too does the sea have its blues and whatever colorful effects are reflected. That pic in this post isn’t bad at all. The only thing I would change would be the curvature of the horizon– which would be almost straight, but slightly bent upwards. Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s