Famous Painting Study #2: Homer’s Sponge Diver
Step 4: Paint The Colors Of The Sea
Paint the sea next in this painting study, starting with a light Cerulean Blue at the horizon line. In this section, paint quickly with the “wet-on-dry” method to prevent the paint from streaking too much. Feel free to allow some white to show through for a “surf and waves” effect, even if it’s not in Homer’s painting.
As the sea isn’t just one color, mix in Cobalt Green and other blues for the next band of paint. Use Cobalt Blue Hue for a stronger color towards the bottom, and streak it into a few areas for some color harmony. Switch blues and greens as you see fit, using your reference image to guide each section of sea. Don’t forget to leave the boat’s reflection white! Allow the mixture of blues and greens to bleed into one another for softer color transitions, and change up the color when it looks too monotonous.
For shadows, touch in Neutral Tint to your blues, and paint the diver’s submerged arm and the area to his left. For the area around the boat, use the gray-blue mix, and add some Viridian for the greener areas. Mix Cobalt Green and Neutral Tint for the boat’s shadow on the water, and for the darkest area, add more Indigo and Neutral Tint. You can also dilute this color and add it to the shadows in the boat’s reflection.
To get the feeling of the diver’s lower body being underwater, dilute some of the blue mixture and streak over that area. Then, add more Cobalt Blue Hue to the sea’s foreground, giving it an extra punch of color for more depth.