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Learn to paint a sunset at the beach with your watercolours

In this blog, we show you how to create a sunset at the beach inspired by US artist Robin Mead. You'll be using your watercolour brush pens, mixed media paper and paint pens to create this fantastic ode to the ocean!

Tutorial by Tammy Klingner.

Aren't you dreaming of a sunset in the beach? We all probably are, and even if you're not able to take a quick trip, making art about it will be a fun experience.

In this occasion, we are getting inspired by the art of Robin Mead, an artist from the United States who makes fantastic mixed media pieces inspired by the whimsical elements of our world.

These are some of her amazing sunsets, awe-inspiring and full of emotion!

Cerulean sunset by Robin Mead

Ruby Sky  by Robin Mead

My Horizon  by Robin Mead

OverJoy  by Robin Mead

Next we are going to use all those amazing creative vibes and create a piece of our own, remember as all art one can make inspired by other artists, use it as a relaxing and learning experience.

Adapting the amount of sections to be coloured on the sunset, you could create this piece with the children in your home, watercolour brush pens are an easy way for them to get acquainted with watercolours.

Paint a sunset at the beach with your watercolours

Step one: Imagine a sunset on your favourite beach, are there trees, big waves, rocks? Feature those elements on your sketch. Loosen up your hand and think in a bigger scale you would normally do on a realistic piece - this is all about how that sunset makes you feel! Tape the edges so you have a nice clean border when you finish.

We are using Life of Colour mixed media paper here, which will work smoothly with the watercolours.

Step two: Start adding colour to your sunset. Think contrasting, bold and vibrant. Tammy here used a burgundy and yellow to make her sun beams.

As you paint each section, add texture with your watercolour brush pens by leaving some areas watered down and others packed with pigment.

Step three: Work your way into the ocean with wet-on-wet technique, this means, as the base colour (light turquoise) is wet, go in with a darker blue or green to create what we call "bleeds".

Step four: Leave your piece to thoroughly dry or speed the drying process with a fan or hairdryer. This is a very important step! So make sure your paper is completely dry before going in with your paint pens.

Step five: Use your 3mm and 1mm black paint pens to create modulated lines and organic patterns over the watercolour layer.

You can add lines between each section, for example the sun beams, the hills, the waves.

Modulated lines are filled with expression, made by hand without using a ruler and vary from thick to thin according to the emotion the artist needs to add to the piece (using different pressure or angling the drawing tool).

If you don't feel confident to do it without the help of a ruler, use a ruler!

Step six: Use your fine point black paint pen and a fine point white paint pen to add subtle patterns in some of the sections.

Tammy here added the patterns she usually add to all her pieces: a dotted pattern on the hills (using both black and white), concentric circles with different marking on the sun, a checkered section representing the shore line and some smaller circles as bubbles in the waves of the ocean.

Step seven: Remove the washi tape and you have your finished Robin Mead inspired sunset!

Are you trying this technique? We hope you are! Send your result by email, post it on the Group or share it on social media so we can see it.

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