How to Paint Newfoundland Beach Rocks

08 April, 2015 3 comments Leave a comment

Have you wondered how to paint lifelike rocks? Check out this progression of photos from my recent watercolour class, 'Newfoundland Beach Rocks'.

Here are my four students working hard on their paintings.

First, I sketched a contour drawing in pencil on 300 lb watercolour paper, and masked out the white caps on the waves with masking fluid. Then, using New Gamboge, Antwerp Blue, and Permanent Alizarin Crimson, I mixed up some dull washes of paint and applied them to the boulders, using a darker mixture towards the bottom of each rock, and a lighter mixture on the tops. (The entire painting was created using only these three colours of paint.)

I wet the sky area with clear water and dropped in some blue and grey mixtures, leaving some white areas to represent clouds.

While the sky dried, I painted the ocean area using a slightly darker mix of blue. I pre-wet only the calm section directly under the headland, and then added horizontal strokes of blue, interspersed with strokes of clear water, starting at the top and working my way down toward the near shore. This produced the effect of waves. I added darker blue under the white caps.

When the sky and ocean areas were dry, I painted in the distant headland using a charcoal grey mixture. Then I dropped in spots of clear water to create intentional 'blooms' or pale shapes, simulating the look of distant shadowed cliffs.

Applying paint to dry paper, I started adding some stripes to the boulders, using various mixtures of grey and tan.

I completed adding stripes to most of the large boulders, and darkened the rock shadow areas using a dark grey mixture. I also darkened the ocean with a more vivid Antwerp Blue layer, and removed the masking fluid, to complete 'Newfoundland Beach Rocks', 10 x 8".

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  1. Donrey McIntosh July 26, 2015

    Karen that lesson is just the shot in the arm that I needed to get me painting again. Thank you.

  2. Diane McEntee July 24, 2015

    Thanks Karen. I enjoyed this step-by-step process. Hope to see you again in a class.

  3. Diane Schurman April 09, 2015

    What a great step-by-step description. Thanks for the blog!