Seascape Paintings -
Olena Babak, “Emerald of the Ocean,” 2018, oil, 8 x 16 in. Collection the artist, Plein air

While the term seascape first gained popularity around the turn of the 18th century, the practice of depicting oceans, ships, beaches, and coastlines stretches back to antiquity. Portrayed on everything from rock walls to etchings, paintings, pottery, and tapestries, views at sea or from the shore have long fascinated humanity. Here, 15 contemporary artists put their unique spins on this timeless subject.

Seascape Paintings -
Debra Joy Groesser, “Timeless,” 2017, oil, 9 x 12 in. Collection the artist, Plein air
Seascape Paintings -
Laurel Daniel, “Hidden Beach,” 2016, oil, 9 x 12 in. Collection the artist, Plein air
Seascape Paintings -
Lamya Deeb, “Pacific Waves,” 2017, oil, 6 x 12 in. Collection the artist, Plein air
Seascape Paintings -
Elizabeth Rhoades, “No Day for Swimming,” 2014, pastel, 12 x 16 in. Collection the artist, Plein air and studio

Related > Preview Jean Perry’s two-hour art video workshop
“Painting Dramatic Seascapes” here:

Seascape Paintings -
Eileen Eder, “Meigs Point Rockstar,” 2016, oil, 11 x 14 in. Private collection, Plein air
Seascape Paintings -
Theresa Grillo Laird, “San Simeon Evening,” 2014, oil, 11 x 20 in. Private collection, Plein air and studio

“A few years ago, I made a six-week painting trip to California and saw the Pacific Coast for the first time,” says Theresa Grillo Laird. The clifftop views and jewel-toned water of the Central Coast took my breath away! “San Simeon Evening,” painted during this trip, was inspired by a roadside stop where I stood mesmerized by the meditative quality of the ocean at dusk.”

Do you paint seascapes? Where’s your favorite location?

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  1. I do! I find My favorite place to paint the ocean is Laguna Beach California, the light is so very bright and reflective on the water and the sand, it’s just beautiful. It’s challenging for me to get waves right, and figures are always hard to capture with accuracy. Sometimes I get a good painting, and others are scrapers! It’s always worth a try.

    • Hi
      I am a lifelong painter in Vancouver Canada, but I did live in Santa Barbara California for 16 years and attended university there as a single mom. I continue to paint although now I am in my 70’s and have health restraints. I continue to learn. Vancouver is surrounded by ocean, but of a much different colour palette in northern colours of Prussian blues and deep green forests and high snow capped mountains in the background. I am now working on a seascape and trying to learn how to capture the drama I see in the ocean around me. I cant imagine you doing a “scraper” Do you ever just paint over one and change it ? Do you do drawings first ?


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