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Pro Tips On How To Paint A Colorful Theme Park By The Beach

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Step 1: Simplifying A Difficult Sketch


In this tutorial, Bill teaches how to paint a boardwalk and theme park in Santa Cruz, California. So first things first: tape the edges of your paper with the artist’s tape. This will give a clean edge around your finished painting for any future framing purposes. Make sure to keep the painting’s size to scale by lining up a corner of the reference picture to your paper, then drawing an imaginary diagonal line through opposite corners. The paper will be wider than you need, so use the extra taped-off area as a place to test your colors.

With your pencil, start sketching the background mountains and trees, then the beach and ocean. Remember to work from big to small, and measure the distance between each feature. It’s also fine to take out any elements that aren’t necessary to your composition.

Add the wooden roller coaster by marking the important points along the track, then joining them in one go. Don’t forget to draw the other side of the track! You can add a few details as well, such as palm trees, flags, support beams, etc. Try not to go overboard with the details though. Your aim is to capture the impression of a theme park, not to reproduce the photo.

Be careful when drawing the support beams and their angles. It also helps to reduce objects to simple shapes, such as outlining the treetops or sketching boxes for the booths. Add in the smaller rides on the left side of this colorful theme park, then weave in the boardwalk itself. Lastly, finalize your composition with any necessary touch-ups.

Below is a close-up of Bill’s sketch: