Easy Watercolour Coastal Scene

An Easy Watercolour Coastal Scene Painted Step By Step.

Follow the step-by-step guide below  for an Easy Watercolour Coastal Scene to produce a satisfying watercolour painting with a minimum of technique.


 

Easy Coastal Scene - pencil sketch
Easy Coastal Scene – pencil sketch

First do a simple outline in pencil to show the horizon and cliffs and boats.


 

Easy Coastal Scene - putting in the the sky, with warmer tones as a watercolour wash and add cooler tones for the blue sky wash
Easy Coastal Scene – putting in the the sky, with warmer tones as a watercolour wash and add cooler tones for the blue sky wash.

Next put in the the sky, with warmer tones as a watercolour wash and add cooler tones for the blue sky wash.

The suggested colours are yellow ochre and light red for the warmer tones at the bottom and ultramarine blue for the cooler sky tones above but you can of course experiment. If you experiment over several attempts it is strongly recommended that you keep notes so that you can judge what works for you and what doesn’t.


 

Easy Coastal Scene - adding a wash for the sea and shore.
Easy Coastal Scene – adding a wash for the sea and shore.

Now use the same blue mix for the sea as was used for the sky and load the brush (a flat brush or a large round one are likely to work best) and apply the paint using broad horizontal strokes. To complete this portion of the picture add some brown to the paint mixture and paint one or two strokes at the bottom (at an angle will create the best effect) to represent the shore.


 

Easy Coastal Scene - detailing the cliffs in various shades of blue-grey .
Easy Coastal Scene – detailing the cliffs in various shades of blue-grey.

Next you will want to add some more detail to the cliffs to indicate crags and crevices. You can do this by adding some washes in various shades of blue grey .


 

Easy Coastal Scene - adding some details for the boat.
Easy Coastal Scene – adding some details for the boat.

Next add some the details,  in this case the boat, using a darker and thicker mix of brown with possibly some Payne’s Grey added to the mix you used for wash for the shore. When you have added in the boat you can add the reflection for some greater realism.


 

Easy Coastal Scene - more detail plus adding a wash across the foreground as a final touch.
Easy Coastal Scene – more detail plus adding a wash across the foreground as a final touch.

Add the detail for the figures in the boat plus the boat’s mast. Don’t forget to add the reflections too.

Finally add a wash (or two) of warm grey across the foreground (try mixing blue and brown until you are satisfied with the colour).  This strengthens the effect and makes it more pleasing to the eye.


Give yourself a score out of twenty once you have completed your watercolour painting.

Be self-critical about what works and what you can improve on a next attempt.

Repeat until perfect!


 

Once you have mastered the basics of painting a watercolour coastal scene you can experiment further to give your paintings additional depth. See Ray’s page on Further Tips for Watercolour Coastal Scenes.