Painting the California Coast

Working in oils, I begin painting the sky. The upper portion is a mixture of White + Cobalt Blue; White + Pthalo Blue is used for the lower part. Soft, misty clouds hover above the horizon line. They are painted, wet-into-wet over the blue, with White + Cadmium Orange + Ultramarine Blue. You may click on any of the images to see enlargements.

My mixes for the Water are shown above. #1. A light and dark shade of MUD (2 parts Ultramarine Blue + 1 part Alizarin Crimson) + Ultramarine Blue + White. #2. Two Combinations of Ultramarine Blue + Pthalo Blue + White. #3. Light and dark shades of Pthalo Blue + White. #4. Three mixes of Turquoise Pthalo Blue + White.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION: Blocking in the Ocean.

The long fingers of the coastal bluffs extending into the ocean are made bluer and lighter in the distance. Coming forward the color becomes richer and warmer. This helps to give the feeling of depth in the painting.

The leading edge of the waves tumbling on the beach are lined with white foam.

One of my favorite things about this area are the massive waves that crash against the craggy rocks. My brush, loaded with White + a tiny bit of Ultramarine Blue, is pulled in upward strokes to paint the flying surf.

The distant scene of Big Sur is complete, we’ll start work on the courtyard in our next session. Please come back and join me! With Colorful Smiles,


© Senkarik 2022

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