How to Paint Waves With Acrylic

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To paint waves with acrylic paint, simply lay down the background colors first, use a broad brush to illustrate the movement of the water, and use white highlights to capture the foamy ocean at the wave's crest. Paint a lively ocean scene with help from an award-winning artist in this free video on acrylic painting techniques.

Part of the Video Series: Painting With Acrylics
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Video Transcript

Hello, I'm Jacklyn Laflamme from JacklynLaflamme.com. I'm here on behalf of the Broward Art Guild. In this clip, I'm going to show you how to paint waves. We've already got the beginning of a beach scene with our sunset painted in the background, so now we're going to start working on the water. I'm putting on my brush three different shades of blues and turquoises, and I'm just going to drag my brush across. And as you can see, I have the lighter blue on top, and the turquoise on the bottom. It's always nice when you're painting water to have different shades on your brush because you can get a more natural effect of the water. And you can see that I'm just dragging the paint across the canvas, and blending the colors together. And you just can keep doing this back and forth, back and forth. Now, when we want to get our wave, we have to think about how a wave is, and how the water works, so I'm putting a little darker color on the bottom of my brush, and I'm just going to start dragging it up in to a wave shape. And we're just going to pull this paint, and get a big wave shape coming out of the water. And we're going to have some ripples coming in the background, so you can take your brush and kind of feather it back and forth, like this, to get the ripples in the water, in the water. I'm going to switch brushes now, because I want to show you how to get the foam part. We're going to just start putting some highlights. You're just going to take some white, and start highlighting the foamy parts of the wave. And you just keep tapping, tapping your brush, like this, and you can see how the water and the foam is building up. And you can also repeat this process over here and build up the foamy waves here. And again, thinking about the bottom of the wave and where the light would be, it's always going to be a little bit darker on the bottom of the wave, and then you can kind of see the light coming through this part of the wave. So you really want to think about how the light is going to play, and play with those colors. And you just start blending back and forth, blending those colors, and you can put lighter colors and darker colors through. And just keep blending and blending, until eventually, you'll have all your water scene done, and a big wave with all the foam. I'm just putting the finishing touches on the wave, and now I'm ready to start painting the beach. This is Jacklyn Laflamme, thank you for watching.

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