Dreaming of being by the seaside? There’s something mystical and dreamy about just looking over at the horizon and feeling the fresh sea breeze on your face. It’s something that can be hard to capture. Luckily, the brilliant Matthew Palmer is here to give you a 10 minute watercolour masterclass! This time, he’s showing you how to create an amazing watercolour seascape. In just a few easy steps, you’ll have a painting that you’ll be proud to see on your wall every day!

Over to Matthew Palmer…

With three colours (red, yellow and blue), two brushes (a size 10 and 6) and a sheet of watercolour paper, you can produce this amazing seascape. You won’t even need to do any sketching, which I know is often a big fear for beginners. In fact, with a huge amount of my teaching I don’t draw anything. It’s nice just to create a scene from scratch and see it develop. When watching this video tutorial, you can paint along with me. It’s a full step by step, showing every brushstroke and colour mix.


I started out with a straight line of masking tape across the horizon line, this needs to be straight. Run your finger over the tape to remove stickiness, this prevents rips. Use the 10 brush and wet the sky area twice, this allows the paint to flow better for a sky. Mix a very watery pale red, almost pink. Sweep this along the bottom of the sky. Clean the brush and do the same with blue, but making the colour thicker and working top down.


Once dry, mix two strong colours. The first colour is grey. Using lots of blue, a touch of red and dashes of yellow until it goes grey. The second colour is a brown. Use lots of yellow, then add red to get an orange and finally, add dashes of blue to turn it brown – make this a strong mix. I simply painted the shape of the large cliff area. Then using a plastic card such as a credit card, scrape off the rock shape. This follows the contour and tapers off the the right. Use the smaller edge of the card. Do the same with the two smaller rocky areas, use the corner of the card for these. Very slowly remove the tape and reposition below, add the paint and scape off. I did two rows of these rocks. This card technique is great and so effective but can take a bit of practice. It’s good fun too!


I finished off the painting by painting the sea. Dilute some of the grey, and mix a paler blue, lighter than the sky. Paint a straight line across the horizon with the size 10 and work down, leaving white random lines. As you get lower, use the blue, adding this towards the bottom lifts up the sea. Then, clean the brush and give it two taps on kitchen paper to remove excess. Once you’ve done that, horizontally blend together. Once dry, grab the size 6 brush and paint a few more ripples with either colour across the foreground, the bottom left more so. Notice I’ve added some darker lines below the cliffs and rock for reflection. Use the brown or the grey from the cliffs for this and tap off the excess on the kitchen paper to produce the dry effect. Utilise the textured paper surface.

For a closer look at how this magnificent watercolour seascape is achieved, watch the full video tutorial below! 

The genius Matthew Palmer always making it look so easy! We’d love to see how you have gotten on with this tutorial, so make sure you post a picture on our Crafting with Hochanda Facebook group! Looking for more inspiration? Check out another watercolour masterclass with Matthew Palmer! 

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