By the Seashore

A study in light, color, and movement, the ever-changing nature of the seaside provides endless inspiration. From crashing waves and colorful seaside villages to figures in action, the scenes depicted here capture the many moods of the place where land meets sea.

“Sea Swell Point Lobos” (watercolor, 4 x 12 1/2 in.) by Barbara Tapp
“Surf Fishing” (watercolor, 8 x 10 in.) by Poppy Balser
“Camogli, Italy” (watercolor, 9 x 13 in.) by Cindy Briggs

Working en plein air, Barbara, Poppy, and Cindy had the added joy of painting with the breeze in their hair and the smell of salt water in the air. But painting on location has its challenges, and isn’t always possible. So how do you keep your seaside scene fresh and lively if you have to work from a reference photo? For the scene below, Michael Holter was able to work from a less-than-perfect photo by adding and deleting elements to improve the composition. He also broke free from the restraints of the photo reference when it came to making choices about color and depth, and kept his brushstrokes loose for a painterly feel.

Michael Holter’s photo reference
“Pacific Light” (watercolor) by Michael Holter

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