Make Waves in Your Seascape Paintings

You don't have to be a surfer to be drawn by the way waves roll and crash; the rhythm of the ocean and the sound of the water rushing and lapping is a powerful reminder that there are things bigger than us that we can't control.

Seascape by Mark Waller, acrylic painting.
Seascape by Mark Waller, acrylic painting.

Perhaps it's that lack of control that makes us want to paint seascapes so much, then, because if we can manage to capture that in paint, it provides a semblance of control, no matter how illusory that control might be. Besides, a well-done seascape painting can be almost as breathtaking as the original.

The different approaches to painting provided in Oil Painting Basics – Painting Waves with Wilson Bickford, and Colour in Your Life – Acrylic Waterscapes with Mark Waller capture very different seascapes, but both result in stunning art, with great tips that will help any artist gain some mastery over their subject.

Seascape by Wilson Bickford, oil painting.

Seascape by Wilson Bickford, oil painting.

Wilson Bickford works with a limited palette, only four colors and white, to create waves crashing at sunset. His demonstration is of a sea that is riled up, spraying foam everywhere. You can practically hear the waves hitting rocks and feel it surging around your feet.

Mark Waller, by contrast, captures the way light reflects and refracts off of the waves as they roll into a beach framed by pandanus trees. The water is clear and deceptively calm, and you can feel the contrast of the warmth on your skin from the sun in contrast to the cool shadows created by the trees.

You can preview both videos at as well as get the materials lists and more. Then, watch the full videos to get all their favorite painting tips for creating beautiful waves.



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