Learn to Paint a Classic Seascape
4.7 (7 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
82 students enrolled

Learn to Paint a Classic Seascape

100% Satisfaction Guarantee! Features a 2-time Teacher Of The Year and award-winning painter
4.7 (7 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
82 students enrolled
Created by Steve Curl
Last updated 6/2016
English [Auto]
Current price: $27.99 Original price: $39.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Think through and make compositional choices to paint a good, complete seascape.
  • Draw a thumbnail value sketch as part of the planning process.
  • Establish a game plan for navigating the different phases of a painting.
  • Learn various techniques for painting fluffy clouds.
  • Use negative painting techniques to "paint" white space.
  • How to paint shadows on a curved object vs a planed object.
  • Paint a variety of textured surfaces, including water spray, reflections, and rocky terrain.
  • Paint a lighthouse and a small town.
  • Practice the "wet-on-wet", the "wet-on-dry", and the "dry-on-dry" technique.
  • Learn how to paint different values, and adjust color tone based on surrounding objects.
  • A variety of watercolor brushes
  • Any brand of watercolor paint on a palette
  • Any brand of 140lb watercolor paper
  • Any 2B or HB pencil
  • Clean water in a cup or bowl
  • A towel or rag to rest brushes on
  • Tissue or paper towel
  • Kneaded eraser

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"I can't tell you how happy I am that I decided to try your instructional videos. You are an exceptional teacher. have never seen any tutorial in any medium that describes the painting process the way you do. You leave nothing out. You explain what artists, and beginning artists, need to hear."

~ Isabelle

"I'm currently taking a local class and have learned nothing compared to the video tutorials I've watched on your site. THANK YOU for taking the time to video and share! Love it!"

~ Maria

Summary & Preview

  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee: love it or your money back, no questions asked
  • 2 hours of high-definition video
  • Separated into stages so you can follow along at your own pace
  • Only basic watercolor supplies required: a pencil, a brush, some paints, paper and water
  • Award-winning, English-speaking instructor

Through teaching a classic seascape painting step-by-step, this 2-Time Teacher Of The Year shows you everything you need to know to paint tricky things such as:

  • A lighthouse
  • Rocky and watery surfaces
  • Value (i.e. light vs shadow)

Let the teacher take the difficulty out of the painting with easy-to-follow instructions, constant encouragement, and a great sense of humor.

Who this course is for:
  • For students who appreciate clear, easy-to-follow instructions and a 2-time Teacher Of The Year with a sense of humor.
  • For newer artists who want to understand more about watercolor painting.
  • For art enthusiasts who believe in self-improvement and new skills.
Course content
Expand 9 lectures 02:14:05
+ Classic Seascape
9 lectures 02:14:05

Steve Curl begins this demonstration by first penciling a basic value sketch to serve as a quick visual guide to divide the whites, the grays, and the shadows in his seascape picture. This is used later to help with the painting process.

Preview 13:58

After transferring the outlines of his sketch over to his cold press watercolor paper, Steve begins by wetting the entire sky area with clean water, then drops in Cerulean Blue mixed with Ultramarine and a touch of Alizarin Crimson for a "wet-on-wet" effect. This helps create the soft blends needed for the sky. He paints around the clouds, leaving them as negative space since the whitest color is the color of the paper.

Painting the Sky with Cool Colors

After finishing the sky, Steve works his way towards the lighthouse and town. He introduces the importance of value, emphasizing on the differences between painting shadows on a curved object (i.e. lighthouse) versus a planed object (i.e. a house), and shows how to paint both in an efficient way.

Applying Values to Different Types of Architecture

Letting the lighthouse and village dry, Steve moves to the ocean, working with much darker tones of blue. Keep in mind the colors of both the sky and the land will be mirrored in the ocean, which means blending the same greens and purples into the reflected areas in the water. Small white waves are left behind as well to suggest the surf and shimmery quality of moving water.

Painting a Reflective Ocean

As he finishes up the ocean, Steve goes back to working on the village, adding a mixture of Yellow Ochre and Cadmium Yellow Orange to the roofs of the buildings to add a contrasting color to the painting. Using the "wet-on-dry" technique, he also adds shadows for more depth, and to suggest a cooler day by making the shadow layer a purple-blue.

Layering New Colors Onto the Buildings

Steve recaps the previous steps, expanding further on key points such as not using white paint, what the "wet-in-wet" technique is, and others. Then, he blocks in the base color layer for the boulders and the seaside cliff area below the town.

Blocking the Base Color For Boulders

As Steve lets the completed village dry, he begins diving into further detail surrounding the rocks and boulders in the water. He mixes a slightly darker brown as a mid-value for shadows in the dry areas of the rocks, and goes even darker by adding more of the ocean's Ultramarine Blue for damp or wet areas. Burnt Sienna, Permanent Violet, and Payne's Gray are also used to get extra contrast in the details. 

Deepening and Touching Up the Shadows

Continuing on, Steve lifts out the paint in certain areas where waves are crashing into the rocks so it looks like a white spray of water. After he finishes, he mixes a light green, and paints the grass surrounding the town on the cliff. His continuous effort at bringing shadow tones to different sections of the ascending cliffside adds dimension and perspective to the painting as well. 

Sea Spray and Adding Depth

Steve finalizes his drawing with important touches of shadows to the bottom region of boulders, then proceeds to clean up his entire canvas with a kneaded eraser, finalizing this painting of a classic seascape. 

Finishing Up the Classic Seascape