Beach / sandscapes


Detail Decepticon!
Some time ago Hassje gave a short description on how he would do sand [as at the beach type stuff] and I was wondering if perhaps some of the rest of you had some tips or suggestions on how to go about creating the illusion of sand and its ripples.
It seems to me there will be lots of shadows and highligts to put together as well as having to select an appropriate light source in the image.
Is this right?
All help muchly appreciated.
@splasha can you be a little more specific? Do you mean sand dunes or a beach or sand below HW mark after the tide has gone out?
I was thinking of the ripples that the water leaves behind as the tide falls, you know, how you get the close, interwoven rippled sand.
At our local beach, these patterns seem to change on a daily basis, so there's no real constant to go by.
Short of taking a heap of photo's, and working out your light and dark sides - and maybe making a stencil from a printed image of it - I'm still trying to figure this one out.
I have thought of maybe reducing the image size i.e doing a smaller, more compact view with only a few details added.
Might look at it from this perspective and see what I come up with.
I've spent a lot of time on beaches as a fisherman and my impression (without searching for a reference photo) is that the ripples are very rigid and have sharp outlines.
I think if I were to paint sand ripples (out of my head as opposed to using a re. picture) I would cut some wavy edged stencils out of paper, I would make the wavy lines vary in the length and height of each curve. Then I would overlap one wavy edge with the other making a series of little open (irregular) ellipses and paint the shadows though the holes.
If that makes sense?
You are right in that the light gives sharp, crisp outlines to these edges, but when viewed from the perspective of standing on the beach - most follow a fairly even set of patterns, much like waves come in sets.
I'm sure that something will come along, it's just gonna take me some time to think it through.
I like your idea of the wavy stencil and think it might be one way to go. Trial run first, though.
Ok this is a bit embarrassing as I had only been painting for a pretty short amount of time when I did this, but is this the kind of thing you mean? Doesn't show to well on the curved surface, but you get the idea hopefully.
CIMG2837 (527x800).jpg I know it's pretty laughable Lol, but I would still do it the same way now - only better lollollol. I basically treated it as I would doing folds of material, trans paint for the darker spaces between, building laeyers, letting the overspray naturally fill in the lighter, higher parts leaving highlights. I kept a bit tighter to the surface that I would doing soft material folds to get a sharper look. There's no detail or anything in this, but now i would go in and add texture etc. Hope that helps a bit.
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Yes, that's what I meant, Oddball!
I was thinking that I could erase the highlights on the ridges and dapple the shadows in the darker areas to give the textured effect of sand.
When I finish what I'm doing now, I'll have a go and see what it looks like on some printer paper first.
If I can sucessfully reproduce the effect, I'll do a smallish one [ maybe with some shells or something ] .
Thanks, Squishy, for the pic and yes, that's the style of image that I first thought of.
After a recent trip to the beach, I observed the sand at low tide, and saw what the ripples and water did to the sand there.
That's what gave me the inspiration for this type of pic that I wish to try.
Did you have something like this in mind, made a quick example (took less than 10 minutes) so its a very rough idea.

airbush texturesand.jpg
Well, yes and no, Hassje.
Yes, it's got the feel of what I want to do, but no, I'm more inclined to add some detail like maybe a shell or some seaweed or some other such thing to it.
This would, of course, change the overall appearance by dragging the eye to the detail and away from the texturing, I think.
And the light will have a huge role to play in the work itself.
As a quick guide peice, it has the right sort of look, smooth and natural.
I like it a lot.