Practicing Ocean Waves #Strathmore #Imperial #Watercolor

Last Tuesday's watercolor class was centered on learning how to paint ocean waves.  I've done those in the past using oil colors, but watercolor is handled so much differently.  A few techniques I could transfer, but most of the them I couldn't.

In this practice painting I lost much of my whites and the proper direction of the waves because I was concentrating too much on the technique.  Great practice though.  I figured out how to get a similar effect of light coming through a cresting wave that I used to get with oils.

The two main tricks I learned could be used for any body of water with active waves.  One is just kind of using strokes in an open-ended figure eight.

The second trick is to twist several lengths of paper towel.  Then you wet the paper and lay down a wash of the base color you want--in this case, Cobalt Blue.  Then before the paint dries, you place the paper twists where you want to have cresting white waves.  The twist lifts some of the color, leaving a nice foamy wave.  After the paint dries a little, but not totally, you paint darker color underneath the white to get the shadows.

At this point, I dropped in a little Phthalocyanine Green and Blue and pulled a twist down the wave to blend all three colors.  Once the paint dried totally, I lifted a little color in the same areas and then added some Aureolin Yellow to get the effect of light.  A bit of a clumsy technique at the moment, but with practice, I think I can do some cool effects with it.