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Old 06-22-2013, 11:53 AM
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Arrow P.A.L.- Paint-a-Long : Making waves! Seascape.

Welcome to the P.A.L. about painting seascapes, a real challenge for me but I hope we can all help each other as we try to make waves move!
The photograph chosen, by a very small majority is the one of Lincoln Beach in Australia, by VickiB.


Fullsize

I contacted Vicki for a little clarification about the area and what might appear to some (me!!) to be mountains and snow in the distance (how could that be I thought?!) are actually sand dunes and sun.
From Vicki
Quote:
"The distant mountains are sand hills, we don't have snow in this part of the world.

This photo is taken at the very bottom of Lower Eyre Peninsula, South Australia. The coast is rugged and wind swept and either sand dunes or rugged cliff faces. The photo here is taken at Sleaford in the Port Lincoln National Park."

So here we are, about to embark on painting these wind-blown breakers – where do we start?

First we need to understand the anatomy of the wave.
It has a ‘face, an ‘eye’, a baseline and a break – plus foam and spray.
A couple of digital sketches -



When painting it, do as you would with any other shape and form and make the brushstrokes follow the form and fall of the wave.



This particular seascape is of rolling lines of waves, some behind, cresting and foaming a little and one in front of the main wave having already crashed and is mostly foam and spray.

I have suggested colours which may be useful:
Viridian, Violet, Ult. Blue, Cad yellow plus Black and White. (Any other blues you have or feel you need!)
Aliz. Crimson and Phthalo Blue can also be used to make a grey/lavender colour where the violet is lighter ….
N.B. The Phthalo Bl is strong, so use very little with the Aliz. Crimson.

Study the colours of the image – what goes where?
  • Are the waves uniformly blue? – green? – grey with a hint of violet? – or what?
  • Is the face of the wave a uniform blue/green? Where is it lightest and where darkest?
  • The curve of the break of the wave – where is it lightest/darkest?
  • How dark do you think the overall sea is? – darker or lighter than you’d expect?
  • Is the white foam all white? Is there any warmth added to it? Is there form to the foam?
These are questions simply to get you looking!

Viewing YouTube, some painters suggest starting with black at the base line area of the wave, filling in with the other colours and blending with a fan brush ……… I often find a fan too light for acrylics and if you do too, go with whichever brush is comfortable for ‘scrubbing’ and blending … always in the direction of the part of the wave you’re painting.
I’m using a straight-edge brush for filling and forming the direction – I’ve tried to indicate this in the digital example above.
You want the break of the wave coming over to be smooth and the movement of the brushstroke can indicate this – make your hand move along, then down at an angle – practise! – then add the paint!

On the face of the wave, the curve goes the opposite way – down and then along.

Notice the thin line of foam along the top of the wave before it breaks? – use a ‘dot and dash’ movement when trying this so the white/light paint touches and lifts to create movement.

I’m suggesting that you do a practice-wave first. Block in the base colours, then add the others and blend as you go. Make sure the ‘eye’ of the wave is the brightest part, the curve of the face the most translucent and note where the dark areas are.

Leave the high-lights – foam and spray - to the end ….. warm the white foam colour with a little yellow, perhaps a little violet to to grey it? and bright white for the lighest parts … some spattering perhaps for the spray spots ....... and then, for the wind-blown spray, use the fan brush very lightly to get that ‘curtain’.

If/when you might want to add some of those patterns of lines, or in some images, lace-effect foam you see on the waves, use a filbert and/or small round, a thinner, lighter version of the colour of the wave, and ‘dance’ the brush along – lifting and touching ……. While still wet, try the fan, with a very light touch, to pull wisps out of the lace pattern …….. practise!!!

I’ve suggested the practice piece so you can then move on to the image you’d most like to paint for your seascape.
It seems only fair that you have choice, the 'votes' for the images were so close!

You may, of course, crop to a picture and format you like – so if you wanted to do the one with the figures, for example, you could use a portrait orientation ……….. or, for the lighthouse, either format!

I think we’re ready to start!

*********************************************

Edit to add.........

Two images from Meggs for anyone wishing to make a painting of a less lively sea!!!! ........ after the practice-wave, of course
Taken at Flagstaff Hill. New South Wales/Queensland Border.. Aus


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Old 06-22-2013, 12:00 PM
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Re: P.A.L.- Paint-a-Long : Making waves! Seascape.

Hello Maureen --

I was out of town on vacation and didn't see your private message with the options. I am happy to say that this photo was at the top of my list. I only tried painting the surf once -- and it was pretty disastrous. So, this will be a good learning experience! Thank you.
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Old 06-22-2013, 12:09 PM
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Re: P.A.L.- Paint-a-Long : Making waves! Seascape.

Thanks a ton for this Maureen and for your messages!
I'll definitely try that, as my main goal is to learn painting water, ships, boats etc.

Your explanation and the drawing of the waves is great - will sit in the evening to try it out.


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Old 06-22-2013, 12:11 PM
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Re: P.A.L.- Paint-a-Long : Making waves! Seascape.

I have yet to start mine ..... painting the Different Strokes butterfly atm!
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Old 06-22-2013, 12:19 PM
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Re: P.A.L.- Paint-a-Long : Making waves! Seascape.

I just want to say thank you for the message Maureen. I'm afraid I don't have much time to paint these days but I'm always watching these projects with interest.
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Old 06-22-2013, 12:57 PM
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Re: P.A.L.- Paint-a-Long : Making waves! Seascape.

Ooooooooooooooooo, this one scares me! I always cheat and do fairly flat water. It's never windy in my paintings.
I tried once many years ago to do a wave in watercolor but never in acrylic so this one is truly a learning experience for me!

Great explanation, by the way, that's one of the first that has really made sense to me. I printed it out as a reference guide, thanks for that!
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Old 06-22-2013, 01:39 PM
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Re: P.A.L.- Paint-a-Long : Making waves! Seascape.

This is great Maureen. Have already added this to my 'favourites'. Your commentary in the first post is first rate. Looking forward to participating in this.
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Old 06-22-2013, 02:18 PM
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Re: P.A.L.- Paint-a-Long : Making waves! Seascape.

Hello Maureen et al,

When I saw the photo, I gasped thinking "there is no way I can do this," but your anatomy notes are so good, I'm going to give it a try when I get back home on July 3rd. Thank you for posting another P.A.L!
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Old 06-22-2013, 03:44 PM
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Re: P.A.L.- Paint-a-Long : Making waves! Seascape.

Glad the notes might be helpful.
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Old 06-22-2013, 05:00 PM
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Re: P.A.L.- Paint-a-Long : Making waves! Seascape.

Thank you for the thorough explanation, Maureen. It is very helpful! I like the idea of doing a practice wave first. The whole idea of painting rolling surf is pretty scary to this landlocked painter but since I love being near water I want to give it a try. After all, it's just practice, right?
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Old 06-22-2013, 05:03 PM
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Re: P.A.L.- Paint-a-Long : Making waves! Seascape.

Doing a seascape was my suggestion but I must admit I'm nervous about this one. Your wonderful and patient teaching will see me through. I've been anxiously awaiting this post so I can get started. I have done precious little art over the past couple of weeks. Been busy making a baby quilt for a dear friend that has been confined to bed during the pregnancy. Haven't quilted in a couple of years so a bit rusty. Anxious to start the seascape. Thank you, Maureen. You are a very special lady.
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:10 PM
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Re: P.A.L.- Paint-a-Long : Making waves! Seascape.

Thanks for your PM Maureen. This photo was the one I voted for, and now that I look at it think eeeekkkk I'm like Virginia, have done lots of watery paintings, but they've all had flat water, soooooooo... this will be a huge learning curve for me too!
Thanks too for your wonderful info on what makes a breaking wave. It will be extremely helpful, as I've never actually known any of this, so I've copied it to keep.
I actually thought they were mountains in the background of the photo, as we have lots of this sort of seascapes in NZ as we're a small country, surrounded on all sides by ocean. Can I make them mountains in my painting? Or do you want them to remain as sand-hills?

Really keen to get started, thank you.
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Old 06-22-2013, 10:35 PM
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Re: P.A.L.- Paint-a-Long : Making waves! Seascape.

Maureen, thank you for the PM and the challenge.

I did two quick studies with acrylics.

4x6 inch Co-Mo Sketch pad



This one is in Strathmore 140 lb watercolor sketch pad 5.5 x 8 inch

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Old 06-23-2013, 12:54 AM
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Re: P.A.L.- Paint-a-Long : Making waves! Seascape.

Gosh Sandra, that was so quick! Congrats on being the first to post and I like your colors.
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:23 AM
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Re: P.A.L.- Paint-a-Long : Making waves! Seascape.

Maureen, thanks first of all for keeping this project going! I've been moping around all weekend wondering what to do next and now I have something! Thanks also for the great photo, the explanation about "wave anatomy", and the suggestions! What fun this will be!
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