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How To Paint The Ocean With Acrylic Paints

Updated on February 17, 2011

How To Paint The Ocean With Acrylic Paints

Painting the ocean can be a relaxing experience. There are many options available on painting the ocean. You can find a multitude of references and tutorials online. You can find interactive tutorials on Youtube. Most of the tutorials follow similar instructions and techniques. My favorite sites on painting the ocean are:

How To Paint Sea Scapes

How To Paint A Canvass Picture


1) Start by coming up with ideas on how you want your ocean to appear. You can use a photo as a reference or use your imagination. You can also visit a nearby beach and bring your painting supplies along.

2) Sketch an outline of your painting. You will want to add the horizon line if you are painting an ocean sunset.

3) Use a large brush (typically a 1.5 or 3cm wide brush).

4) Make your canvass damp. Dip your brush in liquid white paint, or gesso and paint the area where you want your ocean to appear.

5) Choose various paints of blue for the ocean water. You can even use some greens.

6) Apply the colored paints to paint the ocean water. Use large strokes and work back and forth. It is a good idea to first add dark layers of blue and then add lighter layers toward the end.

7) To get the effect of calm water, use mostly soft, light colors (such as the colors of the sky).

To get the effect of restless or rough water, use darker paints and shorter, choppier brush strokes.

8) Paint slightly squiggly or strait lines for the waves. You can highlight the back of the waves with a darker blue to give it a more realistic feel.

9) Add in details such as a beach, an island, dolphins, fish, wales, boats, and rocks.


Ehow: How To Paint An Ocean Scene With Acrylics

EzineArticles: How To Paint The Ocean

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    • profile image

      Darius 3 years ago

      I appreciate your kind and gernoeus advice a lot!. I have been trying it hardly and did not get those amazing results!. It is nice to see that you got my comment in a good way!God bless you!VA:F [1.9.10_1130]please wait VA:F [1.9.10_1130](from 0 votes)

    • earth angel Susan profile image

      earth angel Susan 5 years ago from Central Flordia

      You are an inspiration to those of us who are just begining to paint!

    • Jr_0117 profile image

      Jr_0117 6 years ago from South Jersey USA

      hey thanks a lot, this is very helpful to me. I've just got into painting not to long ago and am only using acrylics. I don't have a steady hand at all but do enjoy the experience over all!

    • profile image

      iMaui 6 years ago

      Thank you. I am an aspiring ocean painter and this helped very much.

    • cangetthere profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from New Zealand

      Thankyou. I have enjoyed checking out you links and now I possibly may spend the afternoon watching utube videos on how to paint the sea.