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Maine Cove Painting Tutorial
Watercolor Painting Tutorial

by Jennifer Branch
YouTube Watercolor Painting Tutorial
Imagine yourself sketching in the peace of a Maine Cove. The water shimmers in the light and your brush dances in your hand. Put yourself there in this YouTube watercolor painting tutorial and let your brush dance over the paper!
Maine Cove Painting Tutorial Watercolor Painting tutorial

Painting Tutorial Level


Skill Building

Painting Water
Painting Skies

Art Supplies

9" x 12"
Saunders Waterford Rough Press
Isabey Pointed Round Sable, no.14
Isabey Pointed Round Sable, no.8
Isabey Rigger, no.1


(M. Graham transparent watercolors)

Nickel Azo Yellow
Cobalt Blue
Ultramarine Blue
Cobalt Teal
Cobalt Violet
Quinacridone Rust

Painting Demonstration 1

Maine Cove Painting Tutorial Watercolor Painting Lesson 1

I begin with the sky, on a tilted table so the wash flows down the painting. I start with painting the clouds in cobalt violet and cobalt blue. I dash in a little nickel azo yellow to give a golden tinge to the sky. It is almost sunset.

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Maine Cove Painting Tutorial Reference Photo
Maine Cove Painting Tutorial Reference Photo

Painting Demonstration 2

Maine Cove Painting Tutorial Watercolor Painting Lesson 2

After the clouds are nearly done, I paint some bold cobalt blue in between the clouds. The sky is more saturated at the top, fading to a pale greenish blue at the horizon.

Painting Demonstration 3

Maine Cove Painting Tutorial Painting Tutorial 3

The sky is done, so while it dries, I start on the water. There are competing waves of tides and winds, which make a very chaotic pattern on the water of sky reflections, tree reflections and sunlight reflection.

I begin with the horizontal distance pattern of reflections, which are mostly the sky reflections in bright blues.

Artist's Tips

Every stroke doesn't have to be perfect. Let your brush dance with the pattern of waves!

Painting Demonstration 4

Maine Cove Painting Tutorial Painting Tutorial 4

I paint a lovely path for the eye to be drawn through in dashes of blue. The seaweed and rocks at the shoreline make a shimmering dark base for the painting.

Painting Demonstration 5

Maine Cove Painting Tutorial Painting Tutorial 5

Now some wind action on the water competes with the horizontal waves. These strokes reflect the purplish clouds more.

I begin painting the stark tree line. Notice I painted the tree reflections before the trees. Make sure your drawing is reasonably accurate!

Painting Demonstration 6

Maine Cove Painting Tutorial Watercolor Painting Tutorial 6

I continue painting the distant trees, in quinacridone rust and cobalt blue and touches of the rest of my palette. I want the colors in the trees to change a bit, not be too stark.

Painting Demonstration 7

Maine Cove Painting Tutorial Watercolor Painting Tutorial 7

I use a smaller brush to add details in the trees, using the same palette. I start the more distant trees in cobalt violet, bleeding in the other colors, to push it into the distance.

Maine Cove Painting Tutorial Watercolor Painting demonstration

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Maine Cove Painting Tutorial Final Watercolor Painting!

This turned into such a peaceful painting. I know it will give that lovely calm to whoever buys it - or paints their own. The layers of trees in the distance, the sunlight dancing on the water and the shimmering light over all of it just takes me to a peaceful cove.

I hope this inspires you to try the tutorial, then go to a peaceful cove of your own, lake or ocean, this weekend and paint the sunlight on the water.

Let your brush dance!

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Maine Cove Painting Tutorial watercolor painting tutorial by Jennifer Branch

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