The process of ocean watercolor painting is as follows:
- Prepare working tools (watercolors, brushes, a palette, drawing pencil and eraser, watercolor paper, density 200 g / m2, a glass of water, scotch tape)
- Draw a sketch of the future landscape on watercolor paper with a graphite pencil
- Measure out the square frame of the picture and glue a sheet of watercolor paper to the table at its edge
- Apply the colors of the main objects (ocean, sky, rock)
- Add shadows and deepen colors where necessary
- Add detail to the landscape
- Peel off the tape and wait for the watercolor paints to dry.
How to paint the ocean step by step:
Step 1. Pre-draw a sketch on paper with a graphite pencil (it is recommended to use a soft pencil, lightly pressing on the lead). In the foreground, depict a roaring wave with a rock, in the background – the surface of the ocean, the horizon, clouds and the sky. Then remove the extra lines with a soft eraser so that the pencil is not visible in the final drawing and does not spoil the transparency of the watercolor fills. You also need to mark the edge of your watercolor ocean painting and fix the watercolor paper with tape along it. This is necessary to prevent the paper from curling up when it gets wet and distorting the even flow of the watercolor. After that, it’s time to get directly to work.
Step 2. Evenly wet a sheet of watercolor paper with a flat brush in the work area and start making the first strokes of the watercolor ocean. Apply a thin layer of paint to cover the paper with the base color of each object. A little later, you will need to mix darker shades and apply them over the base colors. Since this is watercolor, you need to go from light to dark shades. First, paint the light shade of the ocean (blue, turquoise). Then tint the sky with a slightly different blue tint. You don’t need to paint the clouds, just keep this piece of paperwhite.
Step 3. When painting the ocean, the second layer should be darker, so deepen the shades. Use a deeper, richer color closer to the horizon. The closer the ocean is to the viewer, the lighter the color of the watercolor should be used. Draw a rock using the same principle. First, apply the color of the base lightly, and then add some volume using a layer of a darker color.
Step 4. Next, you need to create additional accents of the picture: shadows, volume, sun glare, ocean foam. After applying the turquoise color of the waves, immediately apply the next layer of a darker blue color on the wet surface in the same place. If a more transparent light color is desired, more water must be added to the paints; if you need a deeper and more saturated shade, then on the contrary – you need to add less water.
The final stage of work. The landscape is almost complete. Wait until the painting is completely dry and you can add additional details: for example, a couple of seagulls hovering in the sky above the clouds to add more life to the landscape. Peel off the paper tape only after the watercolors are completely dry.
Important nuances to consider before starting work:
- Correct color matching is a key aspect when painting the ocean. Use the colors of the blue palette: cyan, cobalt blue, turquoise, aquamarine, deep blue. There is a darker color along the horizon, but the closer to the shore, the lighter it becomes. And the crest of the waves and ocean foam are white.
- The position of the sun sets the tone for the entire landscape. Before starting work, be sure to determine the position of the sun disk, even if the sun itself is currently hidden behind clouds. Its position will affect the color of the entire painting. The part of the landscape where the sun is located will be significantly lighter than the opposite.
- Don’t forget about wave depth and shadows. The base of the wave should be darker because it includes a significant amount of water, and its top is almost transparent. Also, the wave creates a shadow on the ocean surface below it.