Airbrush Step-by-Step

Painting Oceanscapes With Airbrush and Acrylics

Today we will be covering some seascape techniques using the airbrush and paintbrush.  Painting oceans are one of my favorite things to create because there is so much contrast from air to sea to water and sun.  So grab your airbrush and paint along with me.

Step 1:  So the first step is to lay down the sky and water with the airbrush.  I am using different shades of blues; sky blue, Lake blue, Ultramarine blue and Phthalo blue.  For the horizon line, I used a piece of masking tape across the canvas.
Step 2:  Now comes the clouds. You should always make a little game plan of the steps you are going to paint.  I usually paint the things furthest away from the foreground first and work my way closer and closer.  Here the blue clouds are a little further than the white wispy clouds, so I paint them to trick the eye.
Step 3:  Time for the base coat of the cliffs.  Now that the ocean and distant clouds are in, we can lay down some earth tones which are  Burnt Umbers and Raw Sienna.  I know that foam brushes are the cheapest things you can buy but they are the most handy and flat brush you can find.
Step 4:  Here is an example of how I lay down the earth tones.  I keep it loose and just go with the flow of the layout of the land.  Let the little natural highlights and shadows happen as they all add character to the cliff.
Step 5:  Here, I switch to a little round paint brush to add some ripples of water, both distant and close.  Also stay loose and free when painting these water effects and don’t over do it.  We just want it to look like there’s a little wind out there.
Step 6:  Now I can start the white water inside the pool.  Notice the white is added along the rocky cliffside. This helps separate the two.
Step 7:  Now using the fine paintbrush, I continue to add swooshes of white wash in the pool.  This, in my opinion is one of the most fun thing to paint in this painting.
Step 8:  So here you can take that same fine brush and begin to define the cracks and crevices.  I use colors lighter and darker than what I’ve already laid down to push and pull out shadows and highlights.
Step 9:  Continuing to detail out the water.  I want it to look like swirling and turning water in the pool.  Also I am just adding more white to lines I’ve already laid down to create a rich white water.
Step 10:  So here, I add some red ochre to some spots along the cliff to give it some rich color.
Step 11:  So now, I am ready to add in the dark shadows under the rocky cliff with black paint.  Keep in mind the light source which would be the sun.  You can really see the painting come to life in this step with the contrast.
Step 12:  Back to the airbrush and time for some “drop shadows” casted out over the water.  This is where the 3D magic happens. I use a transparent black airbrush paint for this.  Take it easy and add light layers of the shadows because once you go too dark, there is no erasing here.
Step 13:  I want to add some algae and vegetation clinging to the cliffside.  I use a hog bristle brush here and I am using a Hunter’s green and Lime green for the plant life.  This adds so much life to your painting!
So this is complete and I am super happy with the way it all came out.  Thank you for painting with me today and I hope you enjoyed this painting project too.  Make sure to leave your comments or thoughts below.  If you’d like to follow me for more artworks, join me on Instagram at ArtistAnhPham

Artist’s tool box:

Complete Professional 2 Airbrush Kit with G22, S68 Airbrushes, Master Compressor TC-20, Air Hose & 6 Primary US Art Supply Airbrush Paint Colors

Item # ABD KIT-CRE-3AIR  $100


U.S. Art Supply Professional 36 Color Set of Acrylic Paint in Large 18ml Tubes – Rich Vivid Colors for Artists, Students, Beginners – Bonus Color Mixing Wheel

Item # USA PT-ACR-36  $20


24 Piece Oil & Acrylic Paint Long Handle Artist Paint Brush Set with Canvas Carrying Case

Item # USA BS-024  $14

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: