DIY Paint a Seascape Bookmark

diy painting Apr 15, 2021
How to Create a Calming Seascape Bookmark

Hi all! As a nature fanatic myself, art is one of my favorite ways to capture the beauty that is nature. I'm also a big fan of creating things that are functional, I create enough clutter for myself, so sometimes I try to create something I can actually use! Who can relate? 

My name is Jamie, I'm an illustrator and nature lover. I'm so happy to be sharing this watercolor and gouache tutorial on how to paint a simple calming seascape that you can use as a bookmark. Grab your supplies and paint along!





Step 1: Outline your clouds and horizon line




You can make your bookmark any size.  For mine, I cut it down to 2.5” x 6”.  Tape the border of your paper.  This will help the paper from buckling as you paint.  You also get the added bonus of a nice clean edge.  Lightly pencil in the basic forms - some clouds, a horizon line, a line to separate the path from the sea and the grass area. 



Step 2:  Paint a watercolor wash




Let’s begin using the wet-on-wet technique.  With your large flat brush, apply water to the surface of your paper. Using your smaller flat brush, start with the clouds and dilute your burnt sienna/raw sienna.  Then take your cerulean and a tiny bit of white to paint around the clouds.  Drop some ultramarine blue at the top to darken the sky. 

For the horizon line, mix your ultramarine and burnt sienna.  This will be the darkest part of our sea.  Gradually lighten up the color as you move down.  Introduce more cerulean + white.  Then finish off the sea area with mostly white.



Step 3: Add color details




With one swipe of the brush, paint the path with white + burnt sienna + a tiny bit of blue.  For the grassy area, take your green and mix a little burnt sienna to warm up the color.  Vary the green by adding a little blue to cool it down in some spots. 




Step 3: Build your color



Now let’s build on what we have.  Make sure your paper is dry.  Using less water and more paint, darken the horizon line using the same mix as in step 2 [ultramarine + burnt sienna + some white to keep things opaque].  Lighten up the color as you move toward the foreground [cerulean + white].



Step 4a: Paint your grass



Nearly there!  Just a few more details.  For the grassy area, add a touch of white to your grass shade and add spots of color for texture.  Darken the top edge of the path.  For the sea, introduce some sparkle with white and make horizontal lines with a dry brush.  Quick movements are best.



Step 4b: Touch up your sky



You can also touch up the sky by defining the edges of the clouds [cerulean + white].  Soften areas with a damp brush so your clouds look nice and fluffy. 



Remove the tape and finished! Thank you for painting with me! Give this a try or use this to inspire your own illustration. I hope you stay safe AND creative. I can't wait to see what you come up with! 




Hi everyone, Jamie Kim here! I think I've made it clear that I love all plants alike. I guess you can also see that I'm a lover of watercolor and basically all art, I'm not shy about it! Other things I love are anything Murakami, embroidery, gouache, pumpkin butter (because who doesn't?), and did I mention cacti and succulents? When not holding a pen or sketchbook, I can be heard playing the guitar, uke, and piano! Let’s connect on my website or on IG!



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