Painting Demonstration 1
I start with the background sand. It's a hot day with glaring light on the sand, so not a lot of detail. I kept my brush strokes very loose and dry.
Painting Demonstration 2
I continue painting down into the water. There's not much of a clear transition in this stage. The sand moves effortlessly into the water. I keep plenty of highlights on the water.
I pull the background into the shadows on the figure.
Painting Demonstration 3
Funny how just a shadow makes all the difference. The figure suddenly appears to have shape.
I continue lightly layering watercolor washes on the water. I want a lot of movement in the waves.
Artist's TipsTake your time building up the background.
If you make it too dark, the figure doesn't stand out as much.
Painting Demonstration 4
Just a touch of blue reflections on the shadows of the face. I'm just painting the shadowed areas on the figure at this point. I want it to stay very loose and undetailed until the last moment.
I'm still building up the water.
Painting Demonstration 5
His cute little USA t-shirt is a fun one on the Fourth of July.
A bit of ultramarine blue and cobalt violet make a nice navy. I'm still blurring edges and details.
Just painting the ear silhouette makes the head look more real.
Painting Demonstration 6
Just the clothes being shadowed make the figure more present.
Painting Demonstration 7
I have a lot of fun with his hair. The wind was blowing and it's all over the place. (Of course, it usually is anyhow. I'm afraid he got my messy hair. :) )
All the face detail is on the bright side of the face. I want the shadowed side to blur completely.
I'm so glad I finally had time to paint this. It really just took a few minutes, and the memories it brought back for me were wonderful.
I thought this would be an especially good painting for the Fourth of July. The USA shirt, of course, but the height of summer and the beach just go together.
Whatever your country, I hope you have a picnic on the beach and paint a portrait of your loved ones.
If they're small, like mine was here, realize your job now is keeping them alive on the beach. Take photos and remember the moments. You can paint them later.