Seascape Acrylic Gouache Painting

The sky’s the limit! Learn to paint a sunset seascape scene. Start by sketching from a reference image on Ampersand Claybord. Then use Holbein Acrylic Gouache as a watercolor to create washes and block areas of color to develop an underpainting. Finally, using Princeton Aqua Elite watercolor brushes...


1. Use a pencil to lightly sketch your drawing, starting with the horizon line, on Claybord. Add features including the lighthouse, hill, and other buildings by measuring using the blunt side of the pencil and squinting to estimate the size. Use curved lines to describe rounded objects such as the lighthouse. Block out areas where clouds differentiate in color/texture. Draw lines where waves crash on the water. Use horizon line as a guide for placement of elements.

2. Mix colors with water to create washes (use color chart as a reference) and identify where they should be placed on your line drawing. Block in large areas of color using ¼" stroke watercolor brush using broad strokes.

3. Identify and define darkest and lightest values using Navy Blue (water), Titanium White (crashing waves), clouds, etc.

• Sky – Primary Cyan + Cerulean Blue + Aqua Blue • Clouds – Primary Magenta + Primary Cyan to make purple hues, Primary Yellow + Primary Magenta to make orange hues

• Hill/horizon line – Primary Yellow + Primary Blue to make green

• Water – Primary Blue + Cerulean Blue + Aqua Blue + Navy Blue

• Crashing waves – Titanium White

• Lighthouse – Primary Magenta + Primary Yellow + Primary Cyan to make reddish browns • Lighthouse landing – Primary Black + neutral browns

4. Continue to mix color variations for detail areas.

5. Use a Round 4 watercolor brush to add shape and details to elements. Make waves by applying brushstrokes in opposite directions, overlapping on the same area. Add brushstrokes to clouds where they break away.

6. Use Luminous Red, Lemon, and Green to pick up subtle highlights created by the sunset using Round 4 brush.