First Walk on the Beach - Custom Watercolor Painting

Detail of 'First Walk on the Beach'
Sizzling summer days are the perfect time to visit the seashore, and what could be more fun than taking a small child to chase the waves?

In this commissioned watercolor, Grandpa holds tightly to his little granddaughter's hand on her very first visit to the ocean. I had fun painting it. It reminds me of many happy beach days when my own children were small.

To see the finished painting, scroll to the bottom of this post. Meanwhile, I'll show you how I painted it.

To begin, I draw the scene on my watercolor paper with pencil, then wash in the colors of the sky and sand with blues and rose:

Next I paint the same colors in the ocean leaving the foaming wave caps white. While the paint is still wet, I add a touch of yellow to the undersides of the waves:

When that wash is dry, I work on adding detail to the waves:

Until it looks like this:

Next, I add the reflections of the two figures in the wet sand. I love painting reflections!

The best part (painting the people) is saved for last. I begin with light washes of color to denote their skin tones, hair, clothing and the girl's bright yellow hat:

After the first washes have dried, I add shading to round the forms (you can click any image to see it larger):

It takes some time to finish the painting by adjusting values, colors and detail until I'm finally happy with the result. As you can see, there is quite a bit of work involved here. But I keep the details focused on and around the figures leaving the reflections, sky and distant water as they were:

A small child visits the beach for the first time with her Grandpa
Lydia's First Walk on the Beach - 8x10 watercolor painting

The client is thrilled. This will be a very special birthday present for her husband who is the Grandpa in the painting.

OMG! That is so PERFECT! You do amazing work. I just LOVE IT!!!! ... This is my husband’s favorite picture and you did a wonderful job of making it look so real and so special at the same time. Thank you!

I hope you enjoyed following along. Thanks for visiting my blog and taking a trip to the ocean with me!

I'm happy to take custom orders. Contact me for a custom painting of your pet, home, garden, grandkids, favorite vacation spot or whatever your heart desires.
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