Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Beach Girl Friends Seashore Painting

What could be better than girls having fun together at the beach, especially if they are best friends, sisters, twins! Here, they are delightedly looking at the seagulls, toes tickled by the foamy surf! 

This watercolor painting turned out to be an accidental commission. When I was at an Art Fair, I spotted absolutely adorable twins. I asked their mother if I could take a photo of her children. I was so brazen about asking because I love to paint kids! She agreed and I told her that I would send her an email of the finished painting. ...and the end of the story is that she loved it, wanted the original, as well as matted fine art prints for other family members!

When I looked at the photo, I decided to set the scene at the powder white sands and emerald waters of a Florida beach. It's so much fun to let your imagination soar and not stick to the reality of a photo!

I started with a sketch of the twins, but moved them apart. Next came the sky and beginnings of the water, surf, hair and skin.

Adding waves, refining clouds, deepening the color of the water, putting in the shadows of the blouses came next.

When I started to paint the skirt stripes, I decided that the original colors in the photo were too close to the colors in the water. I wanted drama and fun! I started with pale purple and a hot pink, but felt that deep purple and bright red would work better. The wave on the back right was really starting to bother me. I think that I mostly paint from my gut, not my head. But I just couldn't let go of the fact that I hated that wave, even if I could balance it with others on the left side of the painting. I tried to stop thinking about that wave by adding the three seagulls that the girls were looking at.

 'Couldn't stand it anymore. Out went that wave! I felt much better and then worked on making the emerald waters darker at the horizon to give it depth, refining the hair and skin color, correcting the left leg of the right girl, adding the purple hair clip, deepening the colors of the stripes, darkening the shadows of the clothing, and creating the children's reflections. Done!

I spent so much time on this painting, that I have come to love those little girls. As you might have guessed, I have no grandchildren yet! I had a hard time parting with it, but knew that the family would cherish it. I do have 15 fine art prints that I've made and one will be framed for my home!

I hope that you've enjoyed "listening in" on the decisions I made during my creative process. I'd love to hear from you!!


 Linked to Watercolors by Barbara Etsy Shop, Watercolors By Barbara Website, Fine Art America, Alphabe-Thursday, Fall into Fall, and Pink Saturday   


  1. Such great photographs here, loved this post :)

  2. It is beautiful!!!!!!!!! That's all I can say. You are very talented.

  3. I love the peek at the creative process!

    the painting is adorable...

  4. You're a wonderful artist! I did water colors for a while. I gave a painting to my father. His response. "It's nice, but you're no Turner."
    I don't even know who Turner is.

  5. How lovely! Our first granddaughter was born a month ago, and if the next baby, due any day now, is a girl, I'll be in touch about one of those prints!

  6. This turned out nice, Barbara. I like beach scene pictures. There were some really nice ones for sale at the art auction for the last cruise we took. I didn't buy one though.

    Thank you for peeking in on my Ice Cream post. I had a little problem finding you to return the comment. Your profile does not link to your blog so couldn't get there from your comment.

    Then your name didn't show on Jenny's Alphabe... Mr. Linky either. But I got here anyway though I may be the only one who could find you.

  7. It was fun to "listen in!"
    That is a gorgeous painting! not surprising the family wanted it!

  8. They are so cute!

    I am so envious.

    Our Grandlittles are at the beach today in Oregon wearing long sleeves AND jeans.

    We are sweltering in the monsoon with 90 percent humidity at 104 degrees.


    Thanks for the cool link for the letter 'I'.


  9. awe! what a sweet painting! love it. stopped by via Pink Saturday (didn't participate this week but checking out the links anyway) I'm curious about your "buy" button. Is that through etsy? Thanks-


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