In this 3 part series I am going to walk you through the process I use to paint a seascape.
This is one of the photos I will be using as a reference for the painting:
It is a photo of Point Lonsdale Lighthouse and makes a great seascape painting.
The equipment that I will be using is as follows:
* Paints – I am doing this in oils however you could just as easily do it in acrylics. The colours I am using are Ultramarine Blue, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, and Titanium White.
* Brushes – I am using a small selection of brushes for this painting … see pic:
The main brush that I will be using for 80% of the painting is the one with the yellow handle … its a Geso brush with hog hair and is great for blocking in. Then I have a medium and a small flat brush and script liner for details. That is all I will use for this painting. Keep it simple 🙂
* Mediums – I am only using Gum Turps for cleaning brush and thinning paint.
* Canvas – The canvas size is …
I will be using the Moore Method of Painting to complete this painting. Remember the Moore Method involves just three main steps to make it easier for you. The three steps are:
1/ Draw in Big Shapes
2/ Block in Big Shapes paying attention to Values & Colour
3/ Details & Refinement
So in this 3 part article series I will be working through the steps in the Moore Method of Painting demonstrating to you how you can take a subject that looks quite complicated in the photo and break it down into easy to manage steps.
So onto the first step …
Obviously this is step 1 … draw in the big shapes.
I mixed up some Ultramarine Blue and Alizarin Crimson with lots of the gum turps. You have a runny ink like consistency at this stage.
Then using the photo as a reference I drew in the key elements. Take your time with this step as it is important that you place the main objects in the painting in the right location.
In my original drawing I had the lighthouse too tall. As it is I am not completely happy with the lighthouse almost going to top of canvas however I decided to run with it and see how it turned out.
Now that step one is complete we can move onto step 2 blocking in the big shapes.
As you can see in the above photo I have started blocking in the dark areas.
The darkest dark is the foreground hill in shadow. So I mixed up Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna and Alizarin Crimson for this area. These three make a good strong dark and with lots of thinner I was able to block this area in quickly.
NOTE: If you are using Acrylic paint then there is no need to thin the paint down when blocking in.
Next is the sand dune that runs down to the lighthouse. As this is further back in the painting I cooled the dark colour down by adding more Ultramarine Blue into the mix and a touch of white. You can see that it clearly looks like it is sitting behind the foreground shadowed area … so we already have a sense of depth developing in the painting.
The rocky outcrop below the lighthouse is catching the sun so I warmed the mix up with more Alizarin Crimson.
Then the distant hills are a cooler and light colour … again same colours used it’s just a matter of making the mix warmer or cooler and lighter as the object gets further away.
Here you can see I have started blocking in the sand area using Yellow Ochre and Titanium White.
To create depth in an area like this you want to make it lighter in the distance and darker (stronger) in value and colour in the foreground. Objects tend to lighten off and grey (less saturation) when they are in the distance. So in an area like this sand you need to create a gradient … otherwise it will wind up looking flat.
Now onto the sky area …
I have started to block in the sky using Ultramarine Blue, Alizarin Crimson and Titanium White.
The top of the sky is usually darker in value and gets lighter towards the bottom. I have added in more of the Alizarin Crimson in towards the horizon to create atmosphere in the painting. Also note that I have started to shape up the clouds in the sky using the same colours. All I have done is go for a slightly darker tone in the clouds shadow areas.
I got to a certain point with the sky and decided it was time to move on as the paint was fairly wet.
So on to the water …
The water again is just a combination of Ultramarine Blue, Yellow Ochre, a tiny bit of Alizarin in darker areas, and Titanium White.
With water, especially in a seascape, you will typically find it darker at the horizon, and lighter in the shallow areas.
Where I want my waves to appear I have darkened the mix up a little.
Well that brings us to the end of part one of this painting demonstration.
It’s time to let it all dry off a little so I will come back to it tomorrow.
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