Wild deep sea wave - help wanted:)



Hi guys!

Since my introduction, I've been doing a lot of basic excercises.

I feel I'm almost ready to try and make one the scenes from my crazy imagination now:)

Key words for my next painting is: Aggression, crazy wildness, standing up through the toughest of challenges, keep smiling. Title: "Bring it".

A small part of this is deep sea waves. I found absolutely no help online for this (yeah some famous artists paint waves with regular brushes - but that doesn't really help me much when I want to use an airbrush), so I just had to try the best I could by myself. Found a picture of a wave online, and used it, not as a reference - more as a guidance to what a wave should look like. Then I tried to add some more white and "wildness" to the wave - cause thats what i want in my painting. I want many waves, but here I just tried a quick version of a single wave. It's stormy, nighttime, and light coming from the left.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Also keep in mind - I'm a real newbie to airbrushing and painting


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Also, I tried to create dimension/depth to the wave. Please tell me if I succeeded or not.
Hi, i think you did very well, the wave looks awesome. Maybe you overdid the splashes in the middle a bit.
Yup, I agree about the middle splashes, Kjukju. The damage was already done, and it was just a test anyway

Thanks for the reply!

Guys; dont be nice to me - I need to hear it like it is

Sice of picture is about 10x15 cm
At that size you did amazingly well! I would start on a lager size if i were you. I did. It's more easy to do 'corrections' when needed. Dont know if you reduce your paint (you really should). With a highly reduced white, you could have build up your splashes with six or seven passes.
Thanks kjukju:) they need to be this size, because of the scale, and the amount of waves I need in the finished painting. Easier to practice what I need in the end:) I use reducer, usually about 50/50. I'll try and make a new version later today, with more waves, and with some other colors.
i used transparent base in my white and reduced it about 50/50. Then build it up in layers. Should i use opaque white instead? To make it "pop" more?
Before you can paint waves you need to understand that they are generated by wind so it very very very rare to see two waves coming from different directions and any any spindrift is always wind blown.
Here are a couple of pictures of what I used to encounter when I was at Sea, the ships are in the 1000 - 1500 tonne class (about 60M long) to give you some idea of the scale:

dolphin.gif Mvc-006f1.jpg MVC-020F3.jpg MVC-021F4.jpg rigwave5.jpg seasick6.jpg

Hope they help
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Depnds on what colours you're using. Go with a high reduction anyway. Needs more passes, but gives you more control about intensity. In my humble opinion there was no need for the intense splashes. You did the foggy style in the back which looks very good to me, but i'm only a beginner too, so i may be wrong:depressed:
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Yeah I think without the overdone splash in the center and that little wave at the bottom, it looks killer. Very dramatic.
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The splash in the middle might be better if it was painted a diff. way?not straight lines but maybe small dots connected by each other?or something to that effect.Might try spraying thru cotton batting like when painting clouds as in mitchs totorial?
good looking wave :thumbsup:

A neat trick for the foam on top of the waves is putting your air pressure on 0. Than turn it up just a little bit. If there is some pressure but not enough to atomize the paint you'll paint little drops of paint (also nice for stars). If you pull the airbrush away in a direction while painting them it will also create the illusion they are moving.

airbrush water.jpg
wow, those waves look amazing! thanks for the tip, Haasje! and others! I'm working on another version right now, I'll post it later this evening.
I think you have the colours and blending right, and the shadows on the rear face are awesome.
BUT, as was pointed out earlier, the spray needs to flow with the wave, not just project above them!
Hassje, as usual, was right on the ball with the pressure reduction trick.
Very useful. Thanks, Hassje, for another awesome tip.
Im trying to use the "spatter" method described above. First thing I notice is that I can not use any reducer and/or transparent base at all (wont spatter).

If I wanna build volume using this method i think I have to use pure opaque white unreduced, then go over with some very light blue transparent (or whatever color you're using), then go over it again with pure opaque white. Repeat process as needed. I might be wrong, but this is how my materials work anyway.
Im trying to use the "spatter" method described above. First thing I notice is that I can not use any reducer and/or transparent base at all (wont spatter).

It works best with an opaque white though you should be able to get anything to splatter if the pressure is low enough (though it can be a hassle to find that "magic" point when you have to regulate it on the compressor itself)
To build volume; I've tested two methods in the same painting now.

1. Starting with a middle color. Going in with lighter and darker colors, and using a pure transparent layer (no color) in between each pass.

2. Starting with a middle color. Going in with opaque, reduced white, then using transparent lighter and darker colors before going in with white and repeating the process again.

I dont know if any of these are preferred methods, but seems to give basically the same effect.