Fort Lauderdale Beach lifeguard station watercolor with pen and ink.

Follow the steps to paint a beach scene in watercolor and line. This new painting is from Fort Lauderdale Beach and one of the many lifeguard stations. My goal was to show the activity at the beach on a weekend here in Florida.

Pen and Ink Drawing Steps

Using watercolor paper Arches 140 cold pressed that has been stretched and stapled to a board. Stretching the paper prevents any buckling in the paper as you’re working. It is a nice to paint and draw on paper that stays very flat throughout the application of washes and drawings. Start with a pen and ink line drawing prior to the watercolor. Using a dip pen and black ink I added the line drawing following a light pencil sketch.

I use a dip pen when I don’t want such a perfect line. I tend to be a little too perfect with line drawing and a dip pen lets me add squiggles and line breaks a little easier. Use one of the many disposable pens if you prefer, they are inexpensive and come in a variety of widths.

Add the Color

Lastly, add the watercolor paint for the color pop. Using colors already on my palette I decided on a violet for the shadows. Use a french ultramarine blue with alizarin crimson or any rose color to mix a nice violet.

Starting with the sky wet the paper first then add the blue sky and cloud shadows with the violet. Continue working down the paper adding color while leaving areas of white paper. Leaving areas of unpainted paper makes the color pop off the paper!

Other colors I used were right off my palette and included manganese blue, cobalt teal, raw sienna, cadmium red, burnt sienna, viridian green, and indian red.

See another example of a line drawing with watercolor here!

These are the basic steps to paint a beach scene with ink and watercolor. Sometimes I follow these steps on location in an art journal to capture a scene quickly. Otherwise, I work in my studio on a larger piece or one with more detail. If you have any questions leave them below and I would be happy to help with your painting

Purchase painting here!

How to paint a beach scene with different stages of watercolor with ink drawing tutorial by PJ Cook.