Sea waves in soft pastels | Soft pastels for beginners | Jekaterina Kotelnikova | Skillshare

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Sea waves in soft pastels | Soft pastels for beginners

teacher avatar Jekaterina Kotelnikova, Artist & Language Tutor

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.

      Intro to Seascape in soft pastels


    • 2.

      Art materials


    • 3.

      The sketch


    • 4.

      The sky


    • 5.

      The sea


    • 6.

      The wave


    • 7.

      The foam


    • 8.

      The project


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About This Class

In this class we will be painting a beautiful seascape in soft pastels. My goal when creating this mini-course was to introduce you to sanded surface and to show you how beautiful pastel marks can be. 

If you haven't seen my Pastels for beginners class then I suggest you start from that and continue with this workshop as a follow up. In the beinner's class I talk about soft pastel techniques and we will also go through the types of soft pastels out there.This way it will be easier for you to dive into the work straight on.

I am in love with seascapes and painting waves is one of my favourite things to do. In this class I will show you what colors to use when painting different planes of the seascape, how to create marks and how to add depth to your work.

By the end of this mini-course you will have a beautiful painting to hang on the wall or to gift to someone special.  

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jekaterina Kotelnikova

Artist & Language Tutor


Hi there! I'm Kate and I am an artist and an illustrator (and a mom of a wonderful 5-year-old). I live and work in Jelgava, Latvia. 

When I was very young I went to art school but did not finish it as I got really tired of everyone telling me what 'the right way' to do things is. I believe that in art there is no right or wrong :)

I returned to drawing and then painting after I started having problems with my health. Right after I gave birth to my daughter I was in pain 24/7 for over a year and a half when I was finally diagnozed with fibromyalgia (for those of you who are lucky enough not to know what that is, it's an illness that makes your nerves transmit paint which is not there). 

I run my YouTube art channel, Patreon, my little online art school... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Intro to Seascape in soft pastels: guys. I'm Kate 10. Welcome to my new mini class Seascape in soft pastels. If you have never touched Fastow's before and you always wondered how it is to use this medium, I am here to help you. I will guide you step by step for all the supplies and through all this tutorial. And we will be creating our wonderful project together. And in the end you will have a beautiful thing that you will be able to put on your wall. So what are you waiting for? Let's start. 2. Art materials: So before we started any work on our painting, let's talk about the materials that we will be using. So for the paper, I will be using the sandpaper. So this is an example of one of my works and the sandpaper is from D I Y store. So you can take the grit that goes to 400 608 100 those air old good grits to use for the sandpaper and you may find sandpaper and different colors. But for our Seascape painting, we will be using This is a 640 Seascape painting. I'm using the standard color that comes usually in old D i Y shops and it is a dark Greek alert. So this is what goes for the paper. So another thing that we will be using is a sheet of tracing paper, so that will be using to create the splashes. But you see here and then you can use the same sheet of tracing paper, attaching it on the back with, uh, masking tape covering your painting so you can store it if you do not want to put it in the frame immediately as you finish. So the next thing is self pastels. I'm using, uh, a collection of different soft pastels. So I have all my pastel sorted by, um, shade and by color, from latest to the darkest. That way I can go through my pastels easily. So here is the greens, for example, So you can see the greens again from latest to the darkest, and I have been divided into warmer winds and cooler ones. This makes your job at selecting colors a lot easier, and that way you already know which colors you have. And another thing that I would suggest you prepare is a container with some semolina or rest. So what do we need this container? So you can see I have some pastels there already that I forgot to take up. Basically, when your best tells get 30 you put them in this container. You can see that this does not seemed like the natural semolina color, but you put them in the container. You close it with a lid. It has to be with, uh, good closing ability. Close it, you shake it, and that is the way you clean pastel. So it's the fastest and best way to clean pastels. It doesn't break them. Don't worry. Even the softest pastels. I glean much monkeys like this, and they're perfectly fine. So in that way you get very clean pastels. So if you did work with your pastels and their dirty before you start working, this is a good way to actually give them, uh, Polish. So another thing that we will be using ISS a pastel or charcoal pencil. I'm using different pencils. So this is one of my sets, these air, the grace and the blacks. And I'm using what pastel pencils usually what? A white charcoal pencil. So here's a dormant white, for example. They're both good, and they're really good when doing sketches off anything that I need to actually work on. Like, for example, this butterfly that I showed you. It was done first with the weight Bensel. So this is the way that you can actually put your sketch onto the paper. There will be using the white color only. And if you have any problems, if you are not very sure about your drawing and you would like to erase something, then you can use a thing called the neither Theresa So This is a kneaded eraser. They're usually very dirty, especially when you're working in pastels. And that's kind of a thing that actually a good for meditation. You can go on and, like, needed as much as you want. So they are a different brands of these kneaded erasers, and all of them are, I think is good and what you do. You can create any shape with this research, and you can erase that amount that you need. So maybe it's big or small, but it's very good for any kind of paper with pastels because it's lit, it lifts the pastel layer off very easily without damaging the tooth of the paper. So this is in case you need to correct your drawing or if you need to correct any mistakes later on, and this is it for the supply list. I hope that you get everything prepared and we can head to the first lesson and start sketching out the wave 3. The sketch: First, we will start for the horizon line. I take a sheet of paper and I'm mark on edge where I want my horizon line to be. So I have the measurement for both sides that is the same. And then using the same sheet of paper elbow drawdown rise in line in. So this will help me maintain the horizon line level and not skew my picture in the direction again. Using my white pencil, I am sketching out the big shape off the weight. So when you're looking at the wave trying not to see it as a way, but try to see it as an abstract thing, that is, you look for the spots of light and dark colors in your wave. Maybe it's easier for you to sketch it out if you transform the picture and degree scale. So that way you will not be distracted by colors, but you will be able to see the shapes. This is what we need when catching out the drawing. So I really like this composition that it goes diagonally from one side, that it's lower on the left side here and we haven't how Europe towards the right side. So it created this kind of nice line. And at the bottom here, we're gonna be adding this part of what? Sand. So there is this foam shape with shadow on it, and this is going to be the part of what Sands that's going to go into the dry sand. So in the photo reference, I cropped my image and you can still see the dry sand on it as well. But for this work, I was more interested in the wave itself. So we're going to be painting the wave, and I will definitely do another glass about fainting dunes on painting the beach. 4. The sky: way. So now that we have are growing in place, we can start adding hostile. So by carefully observing my photo, I can see that this part of the sea is definitely bluer than the wave itself. So usually when you see the waves and when you see even the sea or any other water source, the further away it goes, the more it reflects the sky and is the sky is blue. We have the water in the distance blue. The closer it gets, the greener the water becomes. So to start with, we will start from the top here and we will start with the sky. So for this guy, I'm going to take my light blue and always before I apply my color, I always tested. So this is quite a good blue to start with this guy. It's something in between the very dark blues and very light that we see at the horizon. Also, one more thing to remember about the horizon is that the closer to the horizon, it gets the warmer, the tone of the sky becomes. So let's start with our Scott and I'm looking at those little cloud shapes that I have. So I'm adding these Stokes in my sky of that blue where I see a deeper and I'm leaving the part with the white clouds. I'm leaving it before now. Here I'm being careful not to go over the sea itself. So I like working on sanded surfaces because it gives that wonderful sense of painterly effect to your work. So I tend not to smudge on my send its surface here. There are the clouds this weekend. Cumber Also, if you would like to add ah, more past Ellie kind of look to it. I tend not to work until the very edge of my painting. So it really has this term off pastel about it. You can always cover it until the very edges. But if you would like to give it up more kind of sketch kind of look, I really love how it looks when you do not fill up all the edges. So this is the first layer of my sky and what I'm gonna do if you pick up a color. So when you pick up a color, you have to use that color all over your painting. So this color, as I've used it in my sky. I will put it aside and I will continue using it on the seat because I want my colors to echo throughout all the painting, as painters say, it's very important that you can stop your painting even midway at any point when you just started it. But it has to look harmonious. So if you would like to know about color, harmony and color schemes, I have also a YouTube video about that so you can check that out. That's completely freaked. So we are ready with the first layer of our sky, and now we're going to add a warmer blue that that means a redder blue to this guy itself. So I like this color. Don't worry. If it seems too bright, we're going to dial it down with our Grace because if you put your bright blues, it didn't look like the two impressionistic. But if you would like to have a more in the more realistic E, then we will put some graze over the top and dial it down a bit. Actually, I'm gonna taken even redder blue. Yes, we can work with this one, so I'm going over my let blues. Don't worry that it looks too bright at the moment, so I'm not applying it everywhere now. Actually, I like this belittle we put here, I'm going to add it and some places over this guy here as well. So now I'm going to take my grayish color and I'm going to pass over my sky just to dial it down a bit because it was very interesting. When I took this reference photo, there was the sun coming from one side, but on the other side, that was cloudy. And on the left side from me, there was the sun and the sea looked very different depending on the side that you turn to when you took the photo. So I'm adding my gray over my all of the sky basically, at this moment, because now, with the lighter yellows, I'm gonna be adding my clouds 5. The sea: So what I'm gonna do first is I'm going to layer this purple into the sea, so I need to make it dark enough. One important thing about the C one smudging are going to be doing it. But the smudging here it has to go horizontally. So very important to remember also the same goes for disguise because the ripples on the water they go horizontally or on the diagonal. But they don't go like this. So it's very important to remember this. So I'm adding my purple under my blues because this part is going to be a lot bluer than the wave itself. And now I'm going to test out my blues and see the same was that I was choosing for my sky and see which one I like best. Also remember, as we put our purple in, we're going to have a mix of these two colors. So I'm adding my blues. Don't worry. If it's too lively, we're going to dial it down again and at the bottom here, the closer it gets, the later it's gonna become. And I think I'm gonna use the same one that we used for the sky and over the top. I will go with a bluer with a green or blue just slightly, and then I'm going to us over with a dark blue. But this time I'm doing the movement in this direction. So this color is not dark enough for my liking. But it's okay. We're gonna add those waves, the darker weaves over the top of it. I'm going to add this darker tone into my C, especially the horizon line making. Trying not to go over my horizon line too much. With these short strokes, a matter of these ripples, I'm adding these ripples to my scene. There is a part with her. There's kind of wave building up here. It gets a bit darker, and as we see the reflection of this guy, they're going to be lighter parts in our sea as well. So I'm going to take a my great and you had some later bits in here as well. So I'm going with a niche of my pastel. I'm adding these short strokes to create the illusion of ripples on the water. And here it's quite light, covered this area later and I'm gonna add a bit of blue in here simply and again. I'm gonna go over with my darker blue. Just add a bit more ripples here. So always moving horizontally. There's some darkness in this corner here right about the boy. Even so, we have our top and now we're mid plane ready. So now we're going to be working on our wave and from the blues here, we're going to switch into our greens. 6. The wave: So the first thing we do is I want to mark my phone and I'm going to use a light green. So this is my late green. Actually, we can go even slightly darker at the moment. Yes, this is good. And I'm going to look at the shapes of my phone first. So I'm going to add this dark green only where I see the shadows on my phone. So we're going to be adding there was a black pastor here. We're going to be adding the shadows first and work from dark to light, as we did with this guy. So I'm adding this green and the worry is not going to look green. Once we're finished, it's going Teoh look like a wave. Well, we're done. And now to these shadow parts, we're going to add another color. And this is going to be our purple. So it's the same great purple that we used for two sea bass. So I'm adding it only where Sith, in the shadows of the sea full and where if you go too far with shadows because we're going to also try to go slightly over the shadow areas and into the wave itself as we're going to have a gradual transition from one color and the other this way it's going to look more realistic. And I'm adding this purple here and now We're going to add also a mid tone to our purples and our lightest part of the wave. And this is my lighter green. I'm going to add it. Just likely easier years. So now let's move on. And we're at it here. So now we're moving on. I forgot to add it here as well. So little have it here as well. On this side, Um, I would add something even darker. So I'm going to have my blue gray as well. So now that we have these colors and place, we're going to take the same green is our way, was quite green, and we're going to add the wave with movement from up until into the down. So this is going to be our base of the wave with a lighter green. I'm going to add a spot here. So with adult darker, dull down green, I'm adding this curve. Now it's time to greed the shape of the wave. To do that, we will need to add darker colors to the top, where the wave actually bends and it's going to be later closer to the phone. So I'm using different colors of blues and greens here, so you do not need a precise color, but try to make it as green as you see it. In the reference this way, you will separate the wave from the back plane that we have the sea in the distance, and I'm also adding some light greens to the part where it goes closer to the phone. We will not be working on the phone immediately now, because I want to create the surrounding areas that will be darker to have the light foam on top. So now we're going through the part of the wave that actually curves inwards, and as you see, it's quite dark. One of the most common mistakes is that when painting Seascapes and especially painting waves, the foam is white everywhere, so form is never wait. It's really wait. If you look at the picture, it's in different colors. It had these greyish and greenish tends to it, so under the wave itself, when it curves, it is quite dark there so you can see it's kind of grayish green, and it creates this wonderful pattern. So for that I am using black, and I'm adding green over the top of it just to create the darkness that I need, because I did not have at hand the darkest green. So black is always a way to actually there connector colors, and I'm blending it very slightly with my finger just to create that sense of a smooth wave where we will be adding the pattern of foam over the top. And as you see that there is a lighter part and that crest of the wave and I'm adding my lighter green there. 7. The foam: Let's move on to the phone before we start adding the brightest parts off the phone and creating the pattern we will need to create the under layer underneath this bright part off the phone. As you can see, it quite light the foam on the very shallow parts, and I'm using my green and great to create that under layer that I will need for me to be able to create a pattern. I'm also adding purples here, so when you look at the beach and you see the wet sand, it has this kind of pinkish, purplish color to it. And I'm using quite vivid purple in this case, but I will be dialing it down with my great again any color that you use. You can take it back and knock it back a bit with your grace. So it's very important to have grace in different colors, with different colors leaning towards different colors in your set. That way, you will be able to create the beautiful colors that you need from very bright colors. I hope that might sense, but let's move on. So matting this purple in different areas over the parts of the shallow, um, part of the scene. And then I am passing over it with my like great again. So now, with the same light grey, I'm going into the part, the greener part, the more deeper part of the foam, and I am starting to create Jaggi patterns, so I'm looking at the reference, but it doesn't have to be precise, so wonderful. The wonderful thing about the sea is that you can create, um, any patterns that you like, because the sea is just changing. And it's kind of this abstract thing that is changing constantly, and you can see all these different patterns in it. So the more you draw the see, the more you will see these patterns, the more it's going to be, the easier it's going to be for you to draw the patterns. But most importantly is that I'm using my pastel mostly on its side. So I create these kind of sweeping strokes that go from one part to the other, that I'm using my later green again, and I'm adding some green color into my phone, and this is going to be my one of my brightest colors for the phone. So As you see, it's not white. It's greenish yellowish green. So I'm picking out the areas that are the latest in the phone. And I'm not going into that dark shadow part where we see the phone, the wave curving now with the same color. I am adding the brightest parts of the phone that is actually kind of spraying up. And I'm trying to create these kind of sweeping motions upwards that is the direction of the water. We're kind of splashes. So every time that it doesn't matter what you are drawing, you have to pay attention to the direction of movements, to the direction of bodies or to the shapes of the objects of the direction that kind of shape is created in, and that is going to add more believability to your paintings or drawings. So in this case, we are sweeping the foam upwards as it's splashing upwards now with a darker green. I am going into that shadowy area, and I'm creating the phone pattern that I see inside the shadow. So this is going to give the sense of depth, the sense that the foam is actually on the inside of the wave and is covered by the waves shadow. I'm darkening a bit more the shadow part off my phone on the wave itself. Just you create that nice contrast, and it's going to also help us create the shape off the phone. So, most importantly, when you're drawing anything is that your darks are dark enough for your lights to actually look light. And if you notice that your darks aren't not there, you can always add more. But just don't overdo it. There is always a limit to where you go, but remember that your darks must must be dark enough. Also, another advantage of being an artist is that you can exaggerate things, and by exaggerating them you will create a more interesting, a more pleasant picture. And that is what kind of separates painting from the photo this your own vision of colors and your own sense of light and dark. So I'm adding also a bit of green, onto the shadow part of my wave just to create that nicer transition, and I'm adding, wait over the brightest, very brightest parts of my foam. Try to look at the phone as an abstract shape, so try to see the darks and the lights and just don't think about it as a foam, because when you start thinking about it as a foam, you kind of get overwhelmed. And it's a lot easier to treat it as a combination of abstract shapes, lights and darks. So the foam is spraying upwards, but it's creating shadow on itself, and that way you can give the sense of fullness, the sense of this phone being a three D object. Instead of just laying flat on the paper, I'm adding a bit more darks into my phone that is on the shallow part in the foreground. And I'm trying to establish the pattern now with my darks because I have also already my lights kind of the larger areas of lights. But in and now again, I'm going in with my very light, yellowish green. But you can also do this with white because going over other colors, it's going to still mix in with them a bit and create this nice effect. And now stumbling, kind of scraping with my nail against the pastel, and it creates this pastel dust that falls on to the paper, and I'm going over the areas off the wave where I see the foam spray, you can exaggerate it slightly and add a bit more splashing us to it. Just don't go too far. And after I'm done and I'm happy with all the splashes, I am going to cover the painting with a sheet of tracing paper and rub the past all dust into the paper just by rubbing over it with my hand. If you haven't seen this technique, I talk about it more in detail in my other class. Soft pastels for beginners and there are some interesting projects that we can do together to. So check that out if you haven't still now, I'm quite happy to sign my painting, although I have this thing off going back to every work that I'm doing and kind of trying to fix these small mistakes. So this is kind of the syndrome movement. Finished painting. Try to put your painting aside when you think it's kind of done and come back to it a bit later because you can continue correcting mistakes on and on and on, stop for a moment and then go back to it in a couple of days. so it's the best way to actually see what mistakes you've made. If you have made any and another tip that I can give you here is take your painting to a mirror and look at the reflection so that what you will see which parts need anything added to them or which parts need to be corrected. So I'm just adding the final touches to the pattern of the phone. And again I'm moving in these jagged emotions and shaking off the dust, and my painting is finished. 8. The project: I hope you enjoyed this class. And I really can't wait to see your project. If you could follow me step by, step through this wave and post that painting and create your own wave as well. I will add some reference photos for you to choose from, and you can use them for any artwork that you like. I would really love to see how you get along with this wave tutorial on your own. So enjoy your pastels and I will see you in the next class. Bye.