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Summer Lovin’ In A Watercolor Beach Scene Tutorial

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Step 1: A Summery Sketch


Dive into this sizzling hot tutorial featuring a summer beach scene along the coasts of California! To begin, prep your watercolor block by taping the edges with artist’s tape, which will give you a clean white border for any future framing purposes. Prep your paints too by spraying them with water before sketching to soften them a bit.

As the composition of the painting is already captured within Bill’s reference photo, this will make it easier when sketching, as you don’t need to make as many adjustments. So with a pencil, lightly draw in your guidelines, starting with the horizon line before adding large to small shapes. Like the reference picture, try not to center your composition, as this won’t be as interesting.

Start with the closest figures and umbrellas, going as slowly as you need to get the proportions right. Each person’s head size will help indicate how close or distant they are, so make sure all your measurements are taken from there. The positions of other objects like chairs should be relative to the people, while the ocean and background details should be relative to the horizon line.

Tweak any details that need tweaking, and remember that objects in the distance should look less detailed. You can also add facial features to the people even if you can’t see them in the picture to make the composition more interesting. Adding a little drama is also fine, and when you’re done, step back to check the overall look before continuing.

Below is a close-up of Bill’s sketch: