How I painted The Reef

These past few weeks I have been inspired by the ocean and have created several ocean works. My favorite has been the ocean sea turtle couple that took over a month to create. My inspiration came from multiple documentaries and sea videos that I found. I wanted to learn how sea turtles acted in their habitat to create an accurate depiction of their environment. It also helped me get inspired! Sea turtles are amazing creatures. I learned that sea turtles spend most of their time floating around in shallow water eating algae and other plants.

My painting, The Reef, is of two turtles out for their afternoon snack. They are in water around 4 feet deep next to the ocean shore. The shallow water created many challenges as I had to incorporate light refracting on the surface and light beams. I used the glazing technique to build up the lights and darks to mimic the light. Glazing is applying oil paint and a medium in a very thin, translucent layer on the surface of the canvas. Glazing creates depth as your eye will see the color that was laid on top and the colors of the paint underneath the transparent layer. I worked to build up layers in the dark sections to make the lighter areas seem even lighter. For the waves in the top right corner, I alternated between a white glaze and a green glaze for a rushing water effect

I enjoyed painting this work even though it posed many challenges. This painting is currently for sale and I plan to have more sea pictures coming in the near future. Subscribe to make sure you don’t miss any of my latest works!

The Reef, Oil on canvas, 36 x 24″, 2020

Published by gnestor

My name is Grace Nestor-Louie and I am a fine art oil painter in Kent, Ohio. I paint in bright colors and often focus on animals and nature. I paint on commission and stream myself painting on Twitch. Come check out my portfolio and stay connected through my social media accounts!

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