Seascape Painting in Watercolor, Oil, and Pastel: 3 Must-Watch Videos


Love seascape painting? With these three video tutorials by Iain Stewart, Don Demers, and Jeanne Rosier Smith, you’ll learn masterful techniques for stunning art.

By Scott Maier

Paint dynamic seascapes in video workshops with, from left, Iain Stewart, Don Demers, and Jeanne Rosier Smith

It’s summer and a great time to head to the shores and make some waves with seascape painting! For you watercolor painters, you’ll love Iain Stewart’s “From Photos to Fantastic: Painting Watercolor Seascapes.” Iain demonstrates techniques including variegated washes, wet-into-wet, color mixing, lifting, softening edges, and more. Oil painters, check out “Marine Painting: The Art of the Wave,” featuring the incomparable Don Demers. In this classic video demonstration, Don paints en plein air, adapting to the ever-changing conditions along the shores as he captures the dynamic motion of crashing waves. Finally, for pastel painters, explore Jeanne Rosier Smith’s “Pastel Painting: Shoreline Waves”, where you’ll see a seascape painting come to life. She demonstrates her process for establishing a strong composition, managing color, and capturing the light, reflections, and movement that make wave painting so challenging. 

1. Use Photo Elements for Stunning Watercolors

Discover how to transform ordinary reference photos into a fantastic watercolor seascape painting with Iain Stewart in his “From Photos to Fantastic: Painting Watercolor Seascapes” video workshop. Learn to enhance your composition by combining elements from photographs and changing the light. You’ll use techniques including variegated washes, wet-into-wet, color mixing, lifting, softening edges, and more. Follow along with Iain to develop this magical harbor and castle painting from start to finish, with stunning results!


2. Paint in Oil from Sea to Studio

In “Marine Painting: The Art of the Wave” with Don Demers, you’ll learn to paint the sea in oil. This video workshop teaches techniques for painting en plein air: adapting to lighting changes, creating thumbnails, and capturing color and movement. Back in the studio, Don guides you through this painting from start to finish with tips on underpainting, color mixing, capturing shape and value, adding details and more. Your water will shimmer in this dynamic seascape!


3. Build Color and Composition in Pastel

Explore color and composition in seascape painting in Jeanne Rosier Smith’s “Pastel Painting: Shoreline Waves” video workshop! Begin with a review of cropping and design techniques for a strong painting composition with focus. Then learn how to choose at least four distinct colors for each part of the water. Next, do an underpainting with local color and values, with a helpful tip for making adjustments. Finally, bring the pastel seascape painting to life by layering mid-tones, lightest lights, and paint reflections.


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