Home » Painting Water 101: Watercolor Techniques For Seas, Oceans & Seascapes

Painting Water 101: Watercolor Techniques For Seas, Oceans & Seascapes

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Step 13: Final Finishing Touches


To achieve atmospheric perspective to its full potential, you have to dull down the objects in the far distance. While this method is more experimental and tricky to get right, it allows you to increase the depth of your painting once you’ve finished everything else instead of having to factor in the dulled colors when painting the background. To achieve this effect, use a cleaned Escoda no. 20 brush to water down the Zinc or Permanent White gouache paint (which is more opaque than watercolor) until it is quite milky. Lightly brush this on the left side of the sky, the mountain range, and the leftmost tree, and even add some on the beach to shift it back a little. If the consistency is correct, the white will blend into the paint so not too much color is lost.

Switching to the Escoda brush (no. 8), stab in a thicker white to the surfs on the ocean to make the water look frothy. You can also add reflective lines and water splashes in the blue parts of the ocean to brighten and unite the body of water.

Use the same thicker white paint to add reflective areas on the cars and windows, and some seagulls flying above. Add Yellow Ochre to the white for hints of lampposts among the buildings, and Neutral Tint for shadows under the cars and seagulls, thus concluding the finishing touches for the village.

Lastly, like Bill, you can add your signature to the painting by using the Neef rigger brush (no. 6) and mixing the white with any color you like. You only get one shot, so make sure there’s enough paint on the brush to sign in one go. Don’t place it too close to the margins, or make it too conspicuous. When the whole painting is dry, carefully take off the tape. With that, you’re finished!