One way to add special interest to any
seascape painting that has a sandy beach
is to add footprints in the sand.
For the method I'll show you here, you first
need to dampen the entire area where you
want the footprints to be placed with clear
water. Wet your paper well beyond where
you will be painting. (It's ok to put water over
dried watercolor paint.) By painting into the
damp area the edges will be soft (not hard)
-that's important for the ground to look
Next, paint the foot shaped prints starting
with the nearest point and getting smaller
and lighter in color as the footprints move
into the distance.
Allow the footprints to dry completely.
These footprints could have been found on an
abandoned beach, but I decided that adding a
little girl carrying a beach bucket would add
more interest to my painting.
You can see in this second illustration where I
have started to paint in the shape of the girl.
The previously painted water was very pale so
it was easy to paint over it. (The bathing suit will
cover the water line.)
Again, allow this to dry completely.
Before I can add the shadows to my painting I need to decide which direction the light is coming from.
To create a better
selected this one with
the light coming from
the right and pointing
toward my focal point
instead of away from
where I want the
viewers eye to go.
The shadows are
painted with a cool
grayed purple and
downward to depict
the rolling contour of
the sand dunes.
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Premission to print and paint for personal study only. Happy Painting!
Details of the footprints >
I love to paint with watercolor and I enjoy sharing what I've learned with others! I hope these short tutorials
and watercolor tips will inspire you and tempt you to try them in your own paintings. It takes practice,
sometimes a lot of practice but it's worth the effort. Have fun and enjoy the journey! Happy Painting!
Using a clear piece of transparency film and a sharpie marker I try drawing in some shadow shapes
over the contours of the dunes to see what works better. This is a useful tool to allow you to test your
ideas before you add them to your painting. In the example on the left I notice the girls shadow
minimizes the impact of the footprints.