Friday, May 2, 2014

Learning to Paint Sea Foam

"The Little Shell Seekers"  18 x 24 Acrylic

About a month ago I was extended an invitation to paint along with a dozen or so other very talented local artists at the Springs Preserve on May 10th as part of their O'Hana Festival event.  My friend Jeffrey Oldham just through out there that I should gather up all my pieces that were tropical or ocean themed to bring along.  Did I ever mention that I'm originally from Missouri and have lived in the Nevada desert for over 35 years.  Oceans are something I just don't understand and have stayed away from so far....

Well this past couple of weeks I've pulled out all the different shades of blues greens that are in my acrylic paint drawer and bravely began painting in uncharted territories or water to be more accurate.  

I flipped through my photo inspiration file and settled on this amazing photo taken by a fellow artist and my Facebook friend of her precious granddaughters picking up shells.  As always, when considering using photos taken by others, I obtained permission to use the photo before I began painting.  Holly Kallie has so much artistic talent and only has to step out her front door to view amazing sunsets and frozen winter lake scenes.  Her granddaughters are so cute and provide endless adorable painting materials.  Holly actually painted this exact same scene and released it this week also.  It is so much fun to see how two artist handle the same subject.   Check out Holly's artwork at  Holly Kallie 

Reference Photo taken by artist Holly Kallie

My first attempt at the composition can be seen with this work in progress shot.  I tried to show each wave and catch the water reflections but knew I was falling short.  I viewed numerous videos on YouTube trying to understand the nature of painting of waves.  So I asked for a bit of help and from my artist friend and mentor, Lily Adamczyk.  Lily has amazing talent and proficient at all types of landscapes but one thing that she is well known for is her ability to paint beautiful ocean scenes.

Work in Progress

To achieve the final result, I had to smooth out the ocean so the girl's dresses stand out better against the background.  Lily also gave me instruction on the proper technique to paint realistic sea foam.  I finished off the detail on the dresses and reduced the size of the sun hat.  I'm really pleased with the end results and am excited to bring this piece with me next weekend along with a few other "Tropical" pieces I've managed to finish during this past month.  This piece will be displayed on May 10th at the Springs preserve and will be available in the next few days on my website at Julie Townsend Studio (You can click the link above also) and you can follow the link to order prints or view my other works if you are interested.

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