Painting Waves With Watercolors | Amaya Jade | Skillshare

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Painting Waves With Watercolors

teacher avatar Amaya Jade, Artist and Video Creator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Waves on Shore


    • 3.

      Stylistic Waves


    • 4.



    • 5.

      Waves From Above


    • 6.

      Class Project


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About This Class

Hello everyone!

In this class, I'll be showing you how to paint ocean waves with watercolors. You can see the 4 different paintings in the photo below. All you need is watercolor paper, watercolors, and a brush! This class welcomes all levels but it's great if you're just starting out with watercolor painting. 

I really hope you enjoy this class! Be sure to follow me for more classes.

If you have any questions at all, be sure to ask me in the discussions page! I'd also appreciate ideas for future classes that you want me to teach! 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Amaya Jade

Artist and Video Creator


Hello! My name is Amaya!

Artist & Video Creator. Since 2012 I have been uploading videos to my channel on YouTube (scroll to the end of my page) and now I'm also teaching here! You can find my artwork on Etsy and on my website as well!



My newest class is free for a limited time! Painting Flowers with Gouache


See full profile

Related Skills

Illustration Creative
Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction: Hello, everyone. My name is a Maya. I am a 19 year old artist and video creator. In this class, I will be showing you how to paint waves using watercolors. So I'm going to show you four different wave paintings and walk you through them. So I'll be showing you how to paint waves on a shore, the painting of waves that are a little bit more stylistic, an underwater scene and finally, an overhead shot of waves. 2. Waves on Shore: so I'm starting with this square of watercolor paper and taping the edges so that the paper doesn't warp. So the first thing you are going to do is lightly sketch some waves. I'm doing three waves, so the colors that I am using our permanent yellow, deep, raw umber, cobalt blue, indigo and for Indian. So the first thing I'm doing is mixing at yellow and a wrong number. This is going to be the color of the sand, so first paint a light layer up to the very first wave line. So now once you have let that dry paint up to the next wave break. But leave some white highlights, implant out the harsh edges and also leave a line of white at the front of the wave. So it's totally okay. Toe paint kind of messy. With this, you want the pain to look a little bit splotchy and have highlights because this is where the water starts to come over the shore. So then it lightly fill in the last wave again, leaving some white at the front of the wave and also leaving lots of white space as highlights. And also make sure that you're adding a little bit of water to each wave, so you're lightning as you go. And right here in this area, you kind of want the pain to trail off a little bit so really blended out. And once you've let that dry and you are at this point, then add a few a splotches of the paint and then really blended out. So leave a little bit of whites at the top of the paper because this is what is going to transition into the water. So now I'm mixing a cobalt blue and a bit of meridian. You're going to start at the top and blend into the shore, and I'm just making sure it's a little bit more concentrated at the top. And then I'm lightly layering more of the blue as I get closer to the first wave, and now you're going Teoh, go back to the white highlights of the waves and add light washes of the blue and create darker details of the shore with a mix of yellow and raw number. So now, once this first layer has completely dried, you're going to darken the water and paint streaks closer to the wave breaks and blend them out. So now I'm mixing it into go into the blue to really darken it up and add some contrast. - Now I'm mixing raw amber and a bit of indigo. Using this, I am adding a thin shadow underneath each wave break. This is what's going to make the painting look a little bit more realistic. You know, I'm mixing a slightly darker wash for the shore and painting right up to the first wave and then going up to the second wave and painting a wash over that and continue toe lightly Phyllis and up to the water and blending it out once you hit the blue and continue Teoh dark in the water at the top. Cool. So at this point you're basically just adding more pain, darkening things up. And I'm also doing that again to the sand, adding a little bit more shadows. - So now what? Dry your brush and create some letter areas in the water. Basically, what you're doing is removing some of the paint, so now you can use some white paint too bad foam on the waves. What I'm doing is just following those lines I'm using white acrylic paint, but you could use white water color or gel pens, whatever you have. And now to really create the phone look, you're going to use a dry brush and the pains. - So now I'm watering down the wrong number and splattering that onto the sand. Teoh, give it a textured look and Leslie, you're going Teoh, use the white paint to create some small shells in the sand and then, using the raw number two at a shadow. Remove the tape and this painting is finished. 3. Stylistic Waves: the color is that I'm using are ultra marine, cobalt blue and indigo. So you're going to mix your blues together and create a light wash. So started the end with EU light wash and transition into the darker blues to create an ombre effect. And you're want to let this layer dry so similar to the last painting that you're going to sketch a few wave breaks throughout the painting. So it started the darkest side of the painting and paint in any first wave break with the darkest blue. And then I'm filling in the corner with that same blue also. So once this is dried completely, you were going to move onto the next one. Now let this dry and repeat the process. The pain is going, Teoh, get lighter as you get to the lightest side of the painting. This is where the water gets shallow or reaches the shore. So now once this is dry, you're going to use white paint and create some details on the waves so it makes a little bit of water into your paint to make it easier to apply. I started out using acrylic paint, but I have white gel pens. So those air a lot easier to use rather than using paint and a brush. This way, I can simply draw on the white and when doing is going over the lines. This'll way of painting is a little bit more stylistic than the other ones, so you can just kind of experiment with the white. So I'm just creating some wavy, bubbly patterns, and then once that is dry, you can remove the tape. 4. Underwater: for the next painting. I'm using a cobalt and ago and Verdean. So this is the underwater painting. This is looking up from beneath the water so the heat is doing. This is keeping a white space at the center of the painting and then filling in the edges with a whitewash of blue that I'm darkening up the edges. And then, um, I really painted in like, short strokes for this kind of leading up towards the centre, but mostly keeping the center white. And then you want to draw your brush and create some lighter strokes. And these will be rays of sun shining through the water and added a little bit more of radiant to my pain and started adding that more of that towards the bottom corners. Make sure you really blend everything in, but also leave some visible strokes because those will create some highlights. So, as you can see here at the bottom, that's what I've done. I haven't completely blended out those lines of paint, but this is what gives it an underwater look, So you want to keep adding contrast and more of the blues again. I am drawing my brush and creating those rays of sun. You might want to do this continually throughout the painting because as you keep adding more blues, you're going to be covering them. And here I'm adding a little bit more blue into the paint and creating some darker strokes , adding more into go and really deepening the corners of the painting. And here is where I keep a lot of lines, a lot of visible lines and not really blending the paint out. As long as you have some space of light near the center of the painting and the rays shining, then it's pretty much gonna look like it's underwater. Just don't worry about it too much because it's a lot easier than it looks. And you can stop whenever you are happy with what you have. And then the final step is adding its, um, white details. Of course, it's over this. I'm just creating some streaks of paint and highlights, and that is about it, and you can also splatter some of the paint, too. 5. Waves From Above: and now onto the last wave painting. This is going to be an overhead shot of waves, so I'm using indigo and cobalt blue. So with ease, I'm just mixing different shades, and I'm going to be starting out with a light wash. I'm adding washes of blue to the top and bottom, and at the center of the painting is going to be where the darkest blues are. So I'm just layering the darkest blues at the center and blending out the edges. Let this layer dry, and I am mixing in a little bit of a Verdean into my blues, and you're going to add this in different areas of the water and again using a dry brush and creating at some later areas in the water. So now I'm going in with indigo and adding that to the very center of the painting across the whole thing and blending that out into the edges. So once this is dry, I am going in with white and creating details on top of water. So again, this like foam, so I'm just adding a little bit of water. Teoh the white paint, just creating some wave and bubble patterns and also looking at photos of waves can really help you when you are working on these paintings. And, of course I'm slaughtering it. Some of the paint, too. So looking at waves from above, you can see that there's lots of lines and they all kind of connect somehow not the best that explaining what this looks like exactly. But you can see what I'm doing, and you just want to create these details over the entire painting. - So once you are happy with the amount of detail, you just want to let it dry and then you're done. 6. Class Project: So now that you've seen all four of the wave paintings, choose one of the styles to paint for your class project. So we'll go ahead and create your class project and start by telling me which one you're going to paint. Please share some work in progress photos as well as photos of the finished painting. Thank you so much for watching this class. I hope that you found it helpful and enjoyed it. Please follow me for more classes in the future.