View Full Version : Watercolor Misty Beach 9x12 WIP

10-06-2013, 06:34 PM
Hi, I would appreciate your comments on this before I go further. What colors do you use for skin tone? Thank you very much.

10-07-2013, 02:22 AM
Nice figure. Check out the Watercolor Handbook section on portraits.


10-07-2013, 04:13 AM
I use a very, very light Permanent Rose and Cadmium Orange for skin tones. You've got a good start on the painting. Good luck.

10-07-2013, 10:24 AM
Thank you very much Doug and Jan, I will work on this and post my progress soon. :)

07-06-2014, 10:21 PM
Comments welcome, please let me know if you think it needs anything more. I appreciate and value your advice.


07-08-2014, 08:45 PM
I was not able to upload the file for easy viewing. Is anyone able to click the link I provided in my last message? I would love to have your feedback. Thank you so much.

M.L. Schaefer
07-08-2014, 09:08 PM
gracet, hello. Whoops, was going to tell you how I do it, and it didn't work. Let me refresh my memory some :eek:

What I do is (and, yes, there is probably a simpler way): Scroll down to the bottom of the page you are on, where you wish to copy your post. Click on where it says send e-mail. Copy starting at the http and onwards, hit copy. Go to your post, when you are ready for the link, hit paste. Voila! (just exit send e-mail, no worries on that).

But, I'm thinking you are trying to update what you painted? May need a photo of that, just do what you normally do to load a photo.

Re your painting. Right now it has a misty feel to it...not bad, an overcast day. But, if you want a bright and sunny day, go deep shadows and light lights. Have much contrast. If it is overcast and moody, a nice "feel" for a swimmer walking alone, increase your pigments without the high contrast.


07-08-2014, 09:20 PM

Hi Margarete, Thank you, I will try what you said but I think it is still only going to show a link. The link shows how far I have come with the painting. I decided to not add the mistiness but to make it more colorful. What do you think? Any advice is appreciated.

I'm sorry I am not able to upload the pic for some reason. I am only able to provide the link, which shows a much more colorful day.

M.L. Schaefer
07-08-2014, 09:23 PM
hi, gracet...I just edited my reply to you......You have to be on the Page you wish to link with...oh, yes, you do want to upload your photo...what I attempted was to allow you to link to a Thread already on Wet Canvas.

*****If you are unable to use the Attachments to attach the photo, you may use the yellow box under it, click that, and you can load your photo. The main difference is that Attachments symbol lets other see your painting in their replies, the yellow box only shows it once, when you load it.

I hope that helps! Looking forward to a more colorful painting...never skimp on deepnes of colors! :)


07-08-2014, 09:34 PM
I think I am able to upload this time! I hope it works this time. Thanks! What do you think?

M.L. Schaefer
07-08-2014, 09:49 PM
Hi, I flipped it over, and resized it a bit:


How do I like? Usually I would say, soften the look of stripes of color, but I kind of like it the way it is. It still has that moody look to it...not that bright sun look! :) Moody sky with a lonely young man, walking the beach alone :crying: ! It's all about mood, always. Without mood, one should just post -the original photograph without painting it! Paint + Mood equals Good!


M.L. Schaefer
07-08-2014, 10:29 PM
One quick P.S......I love Photographers and Photographs...I pore over Photographs, visit Photographers' sites, my mouth waters when I do. I was just saying, make sure your art has mood to it...whether it be hyper-realism, abstraction, impression, or just art the way YOU do art! :) :) :) :)


07-08-2014, 10:38 PM
Thank you very much Margarete, I truly appreciate your comments. The pic is actually of my son walking alone on a beach in Cape Cod MA, and I tried to portray the mysteriousness, confidence and moodiness I saw in the original photograph. :)

07-09-2014, 08:23 AM
Very colorful, but since you used a lot of the same color for the sand and the sky (and in horizontal lines too), my eyes had some difficulties finding the horizon and differencing ground from sky. I'd suggest you work on making a clearer separation and the horizon more obvious by adding some contrasts. You could make the sky fade into the horizon, and/or even make the sand darker (especially where it is closer to the viewer, this also adds a great deal of depth. Right now, it appears that you did the opposite and painted whats' closer lighter, and what's farther darker). The more you will paint the closest elements darker and the farthest ones lighter, the more you'll also achieve this "misty" feel, since fog builds up over distance to a near-opacity.

There is a tip I got from my black and white photography teacher years ago that I found so very useful with watercolors as well when painting from photographs or from real life:
Try to avoid perfect white or it will look pale and overexposed.
Try to avoid pure black or it will look dark and underexposed.
But try to get the widest range of values in-between!

There is also something that bothers me a little about the young man's posture. The position and angle of his limbs and hips tells me he is standing upright, walking, but his torso and spine are angled to the side like he's bending..?

I'd love to see the reference picture you are using for this, it would help us all get a better understanding of what you are trying to achieve and give you some better help!

Nice start! :)

07-09-2014, 08:25 PM
Thank you Nath,
I am going to make the horizon more defined and the closest elements darker, this makes a lot of sense, thank you. As far as the posture, are you looking at the flipped version that Margarete posted for me in her attempt to make the pic right side up? If you look at the first post and the original pic that is not flipped, do you still feel the same way? He is walking with a slight angle with hand in pocket. I will try to post the original photograph and you will see. However, if it is not drawn correctly, please let me know as I value all critiques. Also, please note that I am not really going for the misty look because I wanted the painting to be more colorful.

M.L. Schaefer
07-10-2014, 07:18 AM
:eek: Whoops!. So embarrasing Gracet I was just thinking about getting it right-side up! :eek:


07-10-2014, 08:22 AM
I was actually looking at the original one, thankfully. I can see what you mean by the slight angle, but I can also see that it has a lot to do with the angle of of the photography too. If you compare his posture with the background, you'll notice that the benches, which would stand straight when placed on the ground, are also at an angle, parallel to his body, and the horizon line also is a bit angled and not perfectly horizontal, yet is perpendicular to his body.
I'd say this picture was taken at a light angle and this is what makes him look like he's leaning on his side.

Also, on the picture, you can see that his whole body is straight, whereas in your painting, the torso is in a different angle than the leg. Here I have drawn a quick line on the side of his body to show you what I mean:


07-10-2014, 09:35 PM
Margarete, it's not a problem at all, no worries :).

Nath, thank you for the critique, I see what you mean and maybe there is a chance I can still fix it. Thanks for your comment, I'm lucky to be part of this group.

07-10-2014, 10:59 PM
My only comment is that you need to think about contrast like another poster said.

Virgil gave a great lesson on contrast (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1348826)

When you want to do more colorful, try to do them so they contrast the warm and cool, often you get the brightest colors by putting them next to something the opposite which is quite dull.

07-11-2014, 03:10 PM
Thank you for sharing the link Briantmeyer. I appreciate it.

09-24-2014, 04:02 PM
Please let me know what you think of the revisions. I think it is complete. Thanks for your help.

M.L. Schaefer
09-24-2014, 05:37 PM
Hope I "righted" it correctly this time! :) Something to work on, possibly make your image smaller and photograph it differently? Let us know if you want some help with that? Everyone would be pleased to do so.

I'm dreadfully sorry for being picky (it's from having drawn figures all of my life-I can't help myself)! There's still a bit of a problem with the shoulders, the angle, if you draw a line from the head to the shoulder, the angle of the arm swinging should be shorter, the arm in with the hand in the pocket should be longer.....That being said, I would intensify the colors of your son walking...you would make it pop then!



09-24-2014, 06:17 PM
Hi Margarete,
Thanks for looking and for positioning the pic for me. I had a hard time getting it to post. I am not sure what you mean about drawing a line from the head to the shoulder, but I'm sure you are right about the lengths being off a bit. I am not sure it can be corrected though without starting over. What do you think? I also agree with making the colors on my son more intense. Thank you very much.

M.L. Schaefer
09-24-2014, 08:03 PM
Gracet, sometimes paintings can be practice pieces for a final piece.. Until you decide, work with this one first, making your son's figure more intense. Work on that, see how it goes. It may be your final. If not, take what you have learned and start with a clean slate (or a new piece of paper) . If you decide on a new try at it, try drawing your son slightly larger and move on from there. But, first, try to be as big and bold with your watercolors as you can, experiment, learn! It may be that this will be the final! If not, pull out that new piece of paper!

More than one (how many you ask, a LOT, me included) have used a painting and repainted it in a new and better way, from what they learned on the first painting.


09-24-2014, 08:45 PM
Margarete, thanks...I had fun and learned a lot with this painting. We'll see what happens next :)

07-14-2015, 03:22 PM

Hi Everyone!
I decided to make some changes to this painting and I feel it is finally done. Please see the attachment and let me know what you think. Thanks for looking and any comments.

M.L. Schaefer
07-14-2015, 05:54 PM

I've righted it for you! I would still soften the horizontal lines since they distract from the center of interest, your lovely son, but that is me. The main thing is, are you happy with it? If "yes" call it done, mat it and frame it as a keepsake of a wonderful day spent with the family!


07-14-2015, 08:52 PM
Thank you Margarete :) I appreciate your comments.