Drawing A Picture of Waikiki Beach And the Pacific Ocean With Colored Pencils

Art is not for everyone, but I use my drawings, paintings, and photography as a way to reminiscence about some of the favorite places I have traveled to. Of course if my income allowed me to visit Waikiki once a year I would do that, but with my bills and rent I have not been able to go back for awhile. In 2002 I made a lovely trip to Oahu, and I truly enjoyed strolling along Waikiki Beach in the early hours of the morning before all the tourists converge upon its shores. I also recommend visiting some of the less touristy beaches on Oahu, but Waikiki can be fun, and the tourist vibe is not always as bad as people make it out to be. I truly enjoyed walking along Waikiki in the early morning and the evening hours when it was a little bit more desolate, and the vistas of Diamond Head in the background make for great photo opportunities. I decided to take one of my favorite photographs of Waikiki and use it as the inspiration for my latest art work. Below is what my framed Waikiki sketch looks like gracing one of the walls in my house.

Here is the framed colored pencil sketch of Waikiki, which has a techno color theme to it.  This was achieved by using the vibrant hued colored pencils.
Here is the framed colored pencil sketch of Waikiki, which has a techno color theme to it. This was achieved by using the vibrant hued colored pencils.

So if traveling to a Waikiki resort is out of your vacation price range, you can always create beautiful art work by going through your old pictures you took in Hawaii. If you like to draw like me create a sketch based on your art work, or you can scan your photos and enhance these with photo editing software. If you have never been to Hawaii search for pictures that are in the public domain that you can use for your sketches of Waikiki. One thing I love to do when sketching pictures based on my own photographs is to use artistic license to move certain objects around. The palm trees and high rise hotels in my sketch are not exactly like the ones seen in my photograph I took back in 2002, but using artistic license allows me to play around with the details, and to create a setting that is to my liking. In other words, this Waikiki sketch portrays the essence of what I think about when recalling my trip to Hawaii, but it may not necessarily reflect exactly what is seen when actually strolling along this stretch of beach.

Here is the photograph I took on Waikiki Beach back on April 3, 2002.
Here is the photograph I took on Waikiki Beach back on April 3, 2002.
Here I am beginning to sketch the outline of Diamond Head behind the hotels.
Here I am beginning to sketch the outline of Diamond Head behind the hotels.
In this stage of the sketch you can see how I used artistic license to create palm trees and high rise hotels that may not be exactly where these were in the original photograph.  My sketch portrays the essence of my feelings about Waikiki.
In this stage of the sketch you can see how I used artistic license to create palm trees and high rise hotels that may not be exactly where these were in the original photograph. My sketch portrays the essence of my feelings about Waikiki.
In this stage of the sketch I have begun to add more details, such as the windows on the high rise hotels, and the ripples in the Pacific Ocean near the shore of Waikiki.
In this stage of the sketch I have begun to add more details, such as the windows on the high rise hotels, and the ripples in the Pacific Ocean near the shore of Waikiki.
Here is yet another picture of the progress I have made of my sketch of Waikiki.  I like to take pictures of the different stages of my sketch to document my work.  Sometimes I enjoy the way a sketch looks before it is completed even.
Here is yet another picture of the progress I have made of my sketch of Waikiki. I like to take pictures of the different stages of my sketch to document my work. Sometimes I enjoy the way a sketch looks before it is completed even.

Once all the details have been added with the high rise details, the waves in the Pacific Ocean, and Diamond Head, it is time to move on to adding the color to this illustration.  First I began with using a bright hued sky blue color so the sky would really pop, which reminds me of the exquisite beauty of 1950 techno color films.

Here I have finished adding the details to the waves of the Pacific Ocean, which wash up against the shore of Waikiki.
Here I have finished adding the details to the waves of the Pacific Ocean, which wash up against the shore of Waikiki.
In this step of the sketching process I am using a sky blue colored pencil to fill in the brilliant color of the Oahu sky.  I used a vibrant colored pencil to achieve the techno color theme of a 1950's film, and because I enjoy creating bold pictures
In this step of the sketching process I am using a sky blue colored pencil to fill in the brilliant color of the Oahu sky. I used a vibrant colored pencil to achieve the techno color theme of a 1950s film, and because I enjoy creating bold pictures
The blue has been completed shaded in the sky surrounding Diamond Head.
The blue has been completed shaded in the sky surrounding Diamond Head.
Now I am using my amber and sepia colored pencils to shade in the hues of Diamond Head.
Now I am using my amber and sepia colored pencils to shade in the hues of Diamond Head.
I used pink colored pencils to shade in a couple of the high rise hotels in my illustration are reminiscent of The Royal Hawaiian, which is pink.  These high rise hotels in the sketch are not an exact representation of that hotel, but are a memory.
I used pink colored pencils to shade in a couple of the high rise hotels in my illustration are reminiscent of The Royal Hawaiian, which is pink. These high rise hotels in the sketch are not an exact representation of that hotel, but are a memory.
A darker blue colored pencils was used to go over the ripples of the wave, and an aqua colored pencil was used to fill in the rest of the ocean.  I used a black colored pencil to fill in the windows on the high rise hotels in the sketch.
A darker blue colored pencils was used to go over the ripples of the wave, and an aqua colored pencil was used to fill in the rest of the ocean. I used a black colored pencil to fill in the windows on the high rise hotels in the sketch.
All of the water has been colored in and now the sketch is complete.
All of the water has been colored in and now the sketch is complete.
I have placed my Waikiki sketch in the frame so I can display it on the wall.  Framing your art work is a great way to decorate your home, and to save on costs of purchasing art work.
I have placed my Waikiki sketch in the frame so I can display it on the wall. Framing your art work is a great way to decorate your home, and to save on costs of purchasing art work.

Sketching Supplies

Basic drawing pencils and colored pencils are the perfect tools needed to create your own inspirational sketches.  Just find a reference picture and start sketching today!

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Comments 14 comments

Astride Knighted profile image

Astride Knighted 5 years ago from Cape Girardeau, Missouri

I've always enjoyed watching a talented artist at work and you are talented. I enjoyed reading and watching very much, thank you.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thank you Astride!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Great work - what a cool hub!! Watching an artist in action. Thumbs up!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I could have been with you there watching you progress through each step.A useful and up here I think.

Very well put together and I may surprise myself one day and try to copy your method. You never know stranger things have happened. Ha ha ha!!!

Seriously though I am tempted, we shall see.

Anyway thank you again for sharing.

Take care Sweetie Pie.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

You are fantastic. Such a wonderful picture.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

I appreciate all the nice comments. Thanks everyone!


daydreamer13 profile image

daydreamer13 5 years ago

You got talent! Awesome!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thank you daydreamer13!


Shawnte87 profile image

Shawnte87 4 years ago

Very nice art!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thank you, Shawnte87.


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 2 years ago from Sunny Florida

This is a wonderful step by step tutorial. As I read it you made it so simple sounding that I felt I could do it myself. Of course, I do know it is not simple. You truly have an artists soul. Up and awesome.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 2 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thanks @KofffeeKlatch Gals!


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 18 months ago from Home Sweet Home

awesome, you really are talented with color pencils


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 18 months ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thank you, peachpurple!

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