A simple sea using Paynes Grey

A simple sea using Paynes Grey

WatercoloursByRachel starts to get a bit busier around this time of year, I am painting much loved pets or scenes to end up under Christmas trees on Christmas day, or dashing backwards and forwards to the post office to get orders out to people. As with any small business things can go wrong, I make mistakes, like posting 2 calendars to a customer instead of 4, bear with me, I always try to put things right.

I try to start each day with a walk , to clear my head and get my muscles moving.

The views from my cottage are wonderful, and even if  I don't paint something I see on my walk, it gets me thinking, and ordering my day.

The trees are beautiful, when you can appreciate them between the showers


But this blog is about a simple sea painting 

Not this one, but something much more minimal

Many of you know I love the sea, and I like to paint in paynes grey, from time to time. It takes the guess work out of painting now and then, so you can concentrate on the scene.

So first I sketched where the horizon was and the waves and a few marks on the beach where the sun was catching the sand


This is the reference photo I was using.

Then I wet the sand part and dropped in some masking fluid where the light was catching it.

Leave that to dry completely , then begin on the sky.

Now this is just paynes grey, but can you see the granulation, that creates the blue , all on it's own, how magical is that ?

Now to paint the sea, just a thin strip in the painting. It is really dark under the waves. I also used a dry brush to create the texture of the water.



Can you see ? I sort of scrape a dry brush over the paper.

Then I cheat a bit, and use a bit of white acrylic for the surf.

Now to the wet sand, that is mirroring the sky 

Lots of wet in wet

Once that is ok, and dry, perfectly dry ! I can rub off the masking fluid

Finally I worked back into it with more water and paint, a few splashes and splatters...all to make a more interesting foreground

 Now back to finishing orders and packaging up cards...wish me luck !


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1 comment

Thank you so much for sharing your process behind this beautiful painting! What bran of PG did you use? I’be never had this kind of granulation with mine (w&n). Also, did you drop the masking fluid on while the sand was still wet?


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