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Thursday, February 10, 2011

How to Paint a Seascape and a Sailing Boat

About this particular painting I`d like to stress that:
we are using only 3 colors.
we are making both soft and sharp borders.
we are creating the background at once and do not touch it after.

K.Sterkhov. Sunny Regatta. 25x35cm. 2009

Wash the sky with ochre, keep the highlights white. Soften the borders with water. Use a rather broad brush.

Mix black and Preussian blue. These two colors we are going to use in mixtures in various proportions – either more blue or black.

Wash in wet ochre neutral grayish areas. Let the paints flow and mix themselves naturally around the boats. Keep the silhouette of the sailing boats white and dry.
Before its getting dry strengthen the darkest areas in the clouds with the same blue-grey mixture. We can do it only on wet.

Let the water flow and you will be surprised how it can create dramatic light, space and freshness.

sails are kept dry in the light. It makes the sharp border with the sky background.

Wash the water surface with ochre, keeping white texture of the sails reflection on water. Wash with blue on wet ochre with horizontal strokes. Paints are mixing on the paper by themselves creating quite natural transition.

Make some horizontal strokes with dark blue mixture. One can use indigo to strengthen the contrast.

Dry up with the hairdryer.

Now we are modeling the sails` shapes – first in the foreground, then in the background without details.

We can add some details in the foreground with a small sable brush.

To finish the painting we can make some horizontal brush strokes with dry brush to create the texture of the water surface… and a few seagulls.

Go ahead! Its fun!


  1. Thank you, Konstantin, for this great step-by-step lesson! This blog is really interesting, with a good mix of subjects and information.

  2. Thank you for sharing. I'm just trying to learn how to paint seascapes by myself and your last two threads are really interesting

  3. I am enjoying your work and your blog. Thank you for sharing this work in progress and the video.

  4. Thank you very much! I will keep trying posting a usefull material in my blog. I also believe in co-operation among artists fellows - we can share.

  5. Hello,
    Masters like you, Fabio,Prudnikoff and Atroshenko are simply brilliant. You are blessed with passion for painting. My compliments.

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  7. Thanks Konstantin. I'm feeling so much more encouraged to paint a seascape now.