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While seascapes featuring sailing ships may be the most common, there are various other types an artist can explore. Popular themes include tropical beaches and turbulent waves crashing against rocks. However, at the heart of each of these styles is the sea with its waves.
The first step in painting a seascape is to create a color palette. At first glance, an untrained eye may assume that all one needs is blue and white for highlighting the wave crests. However, unless aiming for a crude style, this approach would be a mistake.
The sea is composed of numerous hues. Upon closer observation, one can discover shades and colors that might have been overlooked. Browns, greens, and purples hide within the varied tones of the basic blue. The darkest shades exist in the deepest waters, while lighter hues appear near sandbars or closer to the shoreline where the water is shallower. Neglecting these nuances would make it impossible to create a professionally crafted work of art.
Each wave consists of at least three bands or shades of color. The darkest tones are found at the lowest points, gradually lightening as one moves upward, with the lightest hues reserved for the frothy parts after the wave breaks. In some cases, a touch of green can be added to the foamy areas.
Blending and varying the colors throughout the entire water area will give the painting the appearance of movement in the water. This effect can be achieved by using a sideways back-and-forth brush stroke, alternating the stroke’s size.
Once the water portion of the seascape oil painting is complete, the artist can proceed to add other elements of interest, such as beaches, palm trees, ships, or rocks. An artist who masters this genre can reasonably expect to be in demand for a long time.
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