Loose Watercolor Coastal Scene Video Demo

About this coastal watercolor landscape demo

Painting a loose watercolor coastal scene is challenging for many reasons. Probably the biggest hurdle is painting water and reflections. Plus there are the other landscape challenges that go along with the turf.

To make them look natural the reflections should flow, and not look stiff. And if there are boats involved, which in this case there are, you have to carve around them effortlessly. Most boats have a white top area so this has to be planned in advance. Keeping these areas crisp is a challenge especially when the style is loose.

On top of all that the values have to be spot on! In this piece I decided to place the darkest value mass in the background. Then use a lighter value for the reflections. Yes, there are other dark notes but they really just tie things together and not meant to challenge, or distract from the background.

If you take time to plan value hierarchy you will have a better chance at making the painting harmonious and successful. If this is ignored it will most likely come back and bite you.

These are just a few tips and ideas I wanted to share with you for this demo. I hope that help you appreciate the attention to some of the intricacies of painting water scenes and the power of values. Remember values should always be prioritized and whatever you do please avoid color matching.

Materials used in this watercolor demo are as follows:

  • Holbein paints; Cadmium red light, alizarin crimson, Cobalt blue, ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow lemon, yellow ochre, burnt sienna, neutral tint
  • Brushes – Princeton Neptune pointed round #12, #6, Rigger #3/4″, Silver brush black velvet jumbo (medium)
  • Paper; Fabriano Artistico, bright white, 140 lb. cold press 11″ x 14″

The inspiration and finished art images

The scene is inspired from a photo reference I discovered while browsing Pinterest cityscape photos. It’s a pretty well composed photo so I made a few changes, but not much.

Loose Watercolor Coastal Scene Demo
– Loose Watercolor Coastal Scene Demo
Inspiration image
– Inspiration image