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Marine Art - Resources for Artists

Updated on February 2, 2017

An introduction to marine art

This lens provides information and advice from various websites for artists wanting to understand and draw and paint marine subjects, seascapes and waterscapes.

Topics covered include:

- definitions and categories of 'marine art';

- links to museums, art galleries and exhibitions of marine paintings;

- links to marine art societies

- books about the history of marine art and how to paint marine art;

- links to tips and techniques for drawing and painting marine subjects and

- leading marine artists - past and present

New links are being added added on a regular basis.

Image: Low Tide at Tanah Lot, Bali by Katherine Tyrrell, (Pastel 19.5" x 25.5")

copyright - all rights reserved

What is marine art? - About marine, nautical and maritime art

Marine art is an art genre which was particularly popular from the 17th to 19th centuries - but is still very popular today - particularly in relation to marine communities. It's also called Maritime Art or Nautical Art.

It covers any form of figurative art (ie painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture) that portrays or draws its main inspiration from the sea and or ships and involves marine and/or tidal waters.

The maritime theme can include the sea itself, the coast and seaside, ships and sailing craft, beaches and wildlife, portraits and people, history, or anything else that goes with the sea.

Ships and boats can be naval, commercial or for leisure; use sail or steam and be historical or present day.

Marine means.....

Chambers definition of 'marine'

marine

adjective

1 belonging to or concerned with the sea eg. marine landscape.

2 inhabiting, found in or obtained from the sea eg. marine mammal.

3 belonging or relating to ships, shipping trade or the navy marine insurance eg. marine architect.

4 done or used at sea eg. marine compass.

See also maritime.

noun 1 (often Marine)

a a soldier trained to serve on land or at sea;

b a member of the Royal Marines or the US Marine Corps.

2 the merchant or naval ships of a nation collectively. tell that or it to the marines colloq an expression of disbelief and ridicule.

ETYMOLOGY: 15c: from Latin marinus, from mare sea.

Maritime means......

Chambers definition of 'maritime'

maritime

adjective

1 belonging or relating to the sea or ships, sea-trade, etc eg maritime communications. See also marine adj.

2 said of plants, etc: living or growing near the sea.

3 said of a climate: having relatively small temperature differences between summer and winter.

4 said of a country, etc: having a sea-coast.

5 said of a country, etc: having a navy and sea-trade eg a maritime nation.

ETYMOLOGY: 16c: from Latin maritimus of the sea, from mare sea.

Nautical means.....

Chambers definition of 'nautical'

nautical

adjective (abbreviation naut.) relating to ships, sailors or navigation. nautically adverb.

ETYMOLOGY: 17c: from Greek nautikos, from nautes sailor.

Marine Art History

Marine Art & Seascapes in Art Galleries and Museums

Leading art galleries and museums in the UK and USA have significant collections of traditional marine art

Notable Marine Artists in History

These include the famous painters from the golden age of maritime art

Contemporary Marine Art

Societies for Marine Artists

There are art societies for artists involved in marine art all over the world. While not exclusively male this does seem to be an art genre which is dominated by male artists

Marine Art Society Exhibitions

Links to articles and blog posts about exhibitions of marine art and exhibition reviews. These include images from the exhibitions

Notable Marine Artists - UK

Leading Maritime Artists in the UK

BOOKS: British Marine Art

A Celebration of Marine Art
A Celebration of Marine Art

Primarily a showcase for the work of the Royal Society of Marine Artists. 164 full colour plates of paintings by RSMA members, mostly full-page, including oils and watercolours.This is reprint of a 1996 edition

 

BOOKS: American Marine Art - books on Amazon

America and the Sea: Treasures from the Collections of Mystic Seaport
America and the Sea: Treasures from the Collections of Mystic Seaport

The history of America is largely a history of the sea. This marvelous book features a selection of more than two hundred of the finest objects from Mystic Seaport that tell the history of America and its maritime heritage. Presented with accessible texts and beautiful reproductions are masterpieces of maritime painting, exquisite photographs of classic yachts and powerboat races, and diverse prints and watercolors. Unique examples of American folk art-yarn paintings, reverse paintings on glass, sailors' valentines, shadowbox ship models, and ships in bottles-are also explored in detail, along with watercraft, scrimshaw, ship figureheads, and silver yachting trophies.Essays written by distinguished experts describe the individual forms of expression, discuss the artists and craftsmen, and offer commentary on the ways in which America's maritime history is interwoven with its economic development and cultural history. Elegantly designed and lavishly produced, "America and the Sea "offers intriguing new evidence of the indisputable relevance of maritime history to American life and art.

 
Contemporary American Marine Art: An Exhibition
Contemporary American Marine Art: An Exhibition

Provides a color reproduction of one work by each of the 64 artists featured in the 11th annual exhibition of the American Society of Marine Arts, which was held in 1997. Works are accompanied by artists' statements.

 
Bound for Blue Water: Contemporary American Marine Art
Bound for Blue Water: Contemporary American Marine Art

Bound for Blue Water is written and complied by J Russell Jinishian, an internationally recognized authority on contemporary marine art. Informative essays on fishing , commerce, yachting, military, and coastal marine art are written for the beginning enthusiast and the experienced collector alike. Leading artists bring to life a picture of maritime America from the ports of New York and New England, to Miami, New Orleans, San Francisco and the Northwest. Portrayed here is every waterborne vessel from clipper ships and classic sailing yachts to early-twentieth-century seiners of Gloucester Harbor : from Hudson Bay and NewEngland whaling ships to tugs and ocean liners of the twentieth century; from Boston's bustling T-Warf , to brigantines in the U.S Exploring Expedition. Highlighting key movements and artists, this is the book that collectors and enthusiasts have been waiting for.

 

Marine Art Blogs

Blogs by marine artists and galleries focusing on marine art

Painting Traditional Ships

BOOKS: The Tall Ships - books from Amazon

The Marine Art of Geoff Hunt: Master Painter of the Naval World of Nelson and Patrick O'Brian (Maritime)
The Marine Art of Geoff Hunt: Master Painter of the Naval World of Nelson and Patrick O'Brian (Maritime)

Geoff Hunt is currently President of the Royal Society of Marine Artists. His paintings are to be found in museum collections in the UK and USA and in private collections world-wide, including the Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth. His studio is on the site of Admiral Nelson's home in Merton Place, Wimbledon.Presents over 100 paintings and sketches by Geoff Hunt, known to readers across the world as the artist responsible for the covers of the Aubrey-Maturin novels. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

 
The Tall Ship in Art: Roy Cross, Derek Gardner, John Groves, Geoff Hunt, Mark Myers
The Tall Ship in Art: Roy Cross, Derek Gardner, John Groves, Geoff Hunt, Mark Myers

Five world-class marine artists exhibit some of the most breathtaking paintings of ships ever published, in huge, oversize, full-color gallery-quality reproductions. Along with the gorgeous art comes the artists' own descriptions of their subjects and explanations of how they executed their work. The term "tall ships" calls to mind the majestic beauties that graced America's Bicentennial, but this collection also features paintings of such immortals as the Bounty, the Pinta and the Nina.

 
Celebration of Sail: The Marine Art of Roy Cross RSMA
Celebration of Sail: The Marine Art of Roy Cross RSMA

This beautiful book features paintings by one of the foremost marine painters working today. Over more than thirty years Roy Cross has created a volume of work celebrating the peak of the development of the naval and merchant sailing vessel, for the late eighteenth to the late nineteenth centuries. This book is the first review of Roy's marine paintings to be published. Dozens of his best paintings are showcased in full colour and accompanied by detailed captions giving historical information on each of the vessels featured.

 

How to Paint Water and Boats

Links to information and advice for those wanting to learn more about how to paint marine art - including water, ships and boats

BOOKS: How to paint water

The Complete Guide To Painting Water
The Complete Guide To Painting Water

Water is a fascinating yet challenging subject to paint. It changes forms, moods, shape and colour as the surrounding influences are altered.This book helps you to: learn how to paint water in all it's forms so it can used as part of landscape and still life paintings; observe the motions of water to master this ever-changing subject; and, through careful observation, understand waters actions and reactions, how it reflects and refracts light, and, how it moves and much more.

 
Painting All Aspects of Water: For All Mediums
Painting All Aspects of Water: For All Mediums

For both beginners and advanced painters, water can be one of the most popular but least understood of elements. In this instructive guide, author and artist E. John Robinson shows the secrets of painting water, its special properties, and the limitless ways it can be used in paintings of all mediums. Readers will discover how to use water to convey mood, to capture the effects of wet streets and mud puddles, and to portray fog, ice, and water's reflective qualities. They'll also learn how to paint creeks and lakes, rivers and waterfalls, harbours and the ocean, weaving sunlight and shadow into all their water scenes to create works that flow with life.

 
How Did You Paint That?: 100 Ways to Paint Seascapes, Rivers & Lakes
How Did You Paint That?: 100 Ways to Paint Seascapes, Rivers & Lakes

This is not a conventional instruction book. It provides a hundred different perspectives by different artists on specific topics associated with painting water. Each interpretation is accompanied by valuable firsthand feedback from the artist, including the colours and brushes used, along with the artist's methodology, challenges, and motivation. Readers will also find suggestions and exercises from the painters.The Amazon rating relates to buyers who were looking for a more conventional instruction book.

 
Painting Water (Watercolour Tips and Techniques)
Painting Water (Watercolour Tips and Techniques)

In clear, simple-to-understand terms Joe Francis Dowden clearly illustrates all the techniques that are needed to create different types of water. Using a series of practical step-by-step demonstrations, he illustrates how to paint puddles, shallow water, rippling rivers, white water, a seascape and more. Some reviewers think he is better at calm water than explaining how to portray the movement of the sea. Each stage has helpful tips and information on composition, perspective, capturing tone, colour, texture and detail.

 

BOOKS: How to paint marine scenes

Marine Painting
Marine Painting

Seascapes have long been a source of fascination for artists, inspired by the immense skies, surging waves, and bustling ports. Painters who want to capture stunning seascapes for themselves will find this invaluable guide inspiring and practical. It offers innumerable tips on technique, including those for tackling the sky, sea, coastline, ports, boats, and composition. The second section of the book follows six well-known painters through every stage of one of their works, providing an insight into the diverse approaches that different artists adopt, as well as their favored settings and subject matter. Finally, a useful gallery showcases the finished paintings, along with information about the artist and how he or she created the canvas.

 
Marine Painter's Guide (Dover Art Instruction)
Marine Painter's Guide (Dover Art Instruction)

The first painter's manual to cover such a wide variety of maritime subjects, this book by a noted artist and teacher offers invaluable instruction on portraying everything from docks and fishing villages to ships and a rocky coastline. Useful tips on perspective and reflections. 127 black-and-white illustrations; 11 illustrations in full color.

 
Painting Ships, Shores and the Sea
Painting Ships, Shores and the Sea

12 artists explore various aspects of the sea and ships. Offers tips on drawing boats and water, using light, building a composition, and creating such effects as textures and reflections.

 
Watercolor: Seascapes
Watercolor: Seascapes

Frank Germain shows you how to re-create a variety of intriguing seascapes in watercolor. He explains methods for creating special effects as he demonstrates his own method of developing a painting, step by step. You will learn how to paint essential seascape elements, such as skies, rocks, sand, and even sea birds. And additional tips that explore watercolor painting materials and color theory will help you use the watercolor medium to its fullest potential.

 

Information for marine artists

References sites for those interested in information about maritime art and the people associated with it

Pastels and Pencils - Waterscape Paintings by Katherine Tyrrell - Original fine art drawings of views of water by Katherine Tyrrell in soft pastels and coloured

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    • makingamark profile image
      Author

      Katherine Tyrrell 4 years ago from London

      @anonymous: Thanks for the noteThis is Jeff's website http://www.jeffeldredge.com/

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am saddened to announce the passing of one of the finest marine artists in the world. The ship came in for Jeff Eldredge of Middleboro Mass. during the Christmas holidays.His ancestors journyed here on the Mayflower. He spent his life involved in every phase of the nautical world and he created an abundace of wonderful paintings. Truly a native son.

    • makingamark profile image
      Author

      Katherine Tyrrell 5 years ago from London

      @Lady Lorelei: It would indeed! Mermaids are always welcome as are sailors! ;)

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      I guess then that this would be the perfect art form for a mermaid to enjoy.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Here's a link for you...a new maritime art school in the beautiful seaport of Port Townsend, Washington. www.ptsmarts.com. We build customized art and tour packages for individuals and groups, as well as offer classes with local and visiting artists.

    • makingamark profile image
      Author

      Katherine Tyrrell 5 years ago from London

      @anonymous: Thanks - I've not come across that site before

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 6 years ago

      I love the colors and texture in the Tyrell seascape pastel above, great lens also, so much information. Thanks so much for sharing the knowledge...:)rjwr

    • Missmerfaery444 profile image

      Missmerfaery444 6 years ago

      Wonderfully comprehensive selection of marine art! Sea paintings are among my favourite when it comes to art (especially Cornish seascapes) and you have links to some great sites here. Loved looking through James Bartholomew and Sheila Macleod's work.