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Under The Sea Painting


 What You'll Need 

A3 Drawing Paper (1 piece)

Watercolour palette / pans / tubes

Acrylic Paint

Assorted Paint Brushes

Black Marker



Towel for wiping the paint after washing

Water in a cup / container

Scrap paper (optional)

Paint Palette (optional)

Part One: Let's Learn to Draw


Prepare the A3 paper, your pencil and eraser.

At the bottom part of the paper, draw a horizontal wavy line for the seabed.



At the center of the paper, draw the whale by adding the belly of the whale by drawing a curved line (convex line). Next draw the belly portion with a line starting from the left top of the first line you've drawn and ending at the middle of the belly. Next, draw the top of the whale, and finally add in the tail.



At the back of the belly part, add spot patterns by drawing irregular shapes or lines. At the top of the whale’s body, draw a dorsal fin (a fin which is on the back of the whale). The fin can be drawn with the shape of an airplane’s wing or just a simple long triangular shape with a soft edge.



Add the lower fins by drawing leaf shapes. The other fin would be overlapped by the belly so just draw the half of it under the belly line.



Draw the whale’s eye with a small circle, then another almost teardrop/triangular shape for the spot beside the whale’s eye.



Draw some seaweeds at the seabed. Start by drawing a wavy line going up from the seabed, then another wavy line from that point going downwards to the point where you start off to close the shape. You can draw the seaweeds as much as you want, but don’t forget to leave space at the seabed for the marine critters!

Note: Some seaweeds may be overlapping the seabed or the whale, and it’s totally fine! When you have these overlapping figures, make sure to erase the overlapped lines from the figures behind your foremost figures.



You can add other marine life on the spaces on your paper. For example, a fish on the right top part of the paper. Start by drawing an egg shape for the fish body, the tail is similar to the whale but this fish has quite pointy and long tail. Then don’t forget to add the gills by drawing a flipped C line on the body. Add smaller fins at the top and lower part of the fish’s body, then the eye!

Note: If you have your own style of fishes, you can draw them as well! Let your creativity shine!



Now, let’s add other marine critters and animals! Add some seashell at the seabed, you can draw an egg shape seashell, or just a simple clam seashell or starfish. Draw at least two critters on the seabed.


In this artwork, I’ll be adding a crab on the other side. Start by drawing an oval shape, add the “lollipop” eyes, then two small oval shapes on each side for the front claws/pincers, then three smaller crawling legs at the bottom of its body on each side!


On the top left part of the paper, I've draw an octopus starting with an egg shape (again!) leaving a space under for its tentacles. Draw the tentacles with wavy lines. Front tentacles are overlapping the tentacles from behind of its body.


Part Two: Background Painting with Watercolour


Prepare your materials with the A3 Paper with your drawing. Using a medium brush, add a lot of water on the palette then start painting the background by dabbing your paint brush on the paper.


Note: Everytime you dip your brush on the palette / watercolour paint, make sure you add a lot of water, since it is a watercolour paint afterall! By adding a lot of water, this will create a texture on the paper as the water and paint flows on your paper.


Note: Use a smaller paint brush on the smaller areas to avoid painting your main figures such as the marine animals and critters, as well as seaweeds and seabed.



Reminder: Always wash your brush every time you change your paint colour!


Paint the sand starting by putting a lot of water on the light ochre or light orange colour from your watercolour palette. Then, do the same dabbing or shaking technique on the seabed. Add some shadows by using a darker ochre or dark orange, then paint by dabbing under the seaweed, the seashell and the crab.


Dry your paper.



We’re going to add more effects under the sea! Using a darker blue watercolour paint with a lot of water, we are going to do the splatter technique on the background. Tap the paint brush with paint on top of another paint brush above your paper.


Note: Cover the seabed with scrap paper so you can avoid splattering the blue paint on the seabed.


Wash your brush, and take a brown colour paint with a lot of water, then do the same technique on the sand. Remember to cover the sea with scrap paper.


Lastly, wash the brush again and take white watercolour paint with water and splatter it on the whole paper. This will create a small bubble effect under the sea.


Tip: Do not tap too hard or too fast otherwise the paint will splatter on your face instead of the paper! Hehe. It is totally fine as well if you splatter some paint on your main figures since we are painting over them with acrylic paint on the next video! :)


Part Three: Sea Creatures Painting with Acrylic Paint


Prepare your materials, and squeeze out a blue and light blue acrylic paint. This would be the colour of the whale. Start off by painting the top part of the whale’s body with blue colour acrylic paint. Paint carefully and make sure that you only paint within the lines.



Blend light blue colour at the bottom of the upper part of the whale’s body. Blend nice and smooth by intermingling the blue and light blue colours creating a soft contrast (from dark to light). This would be the highlight. Paint over until the tail.


Note: The highlight and shadow colours should always compliment the main colour of the figure.

For example: Red has orange highlights. Yellow has orange or green shadows. Blue has light blue highlights.

Meaning: Colours should be near to each other or should be of the same hue.


Question: Where should you paint your highlights and shadows?

Answer: You can find a single light source on your artwork. For example, in this artwork the source of light is on the upper left side, so that means all the highlights will go on the upper left side of all the figures, and the shadow will go on the opposite side which is the lower right side, and vice versa. Same with a highlight on top, then the shadow at the bottom, highlight on right, then the shadow is on the left.



Paint the fins using grey colour, or you can just use the same blue colour. Remember to add highlights using white (for grey) and light blue (for blue).


Note: Use a smaller brush on the small areas, and make sure to wash your brush every time you change colours, but when blending colours, it is optional to wash your brush since you are blending these colours anyway.



After washing your brush, take white acrylic paint and paint the belly. Note that even though the paper is already white, we still need to paint it white so that we can easily blend some shadows under the belly using grey, and so that the whale’s belly will not look empty and unfinished.


Don’t forget to paint the irregular spots as well. :)



Using a small clean brush, paint the octopus and its front tentacles with light purple. Then paint the tentacles behind with dark purple since it is behind the octopus and placed under the shadows.


Add and blend white acrylic paint on the head and front tentacles for highlights.


Wash your brush.



Paint the seaweed with green, and you can blend them with other colours of the same hue such as yellow or dark green. Follow the shape or the lines of the seaweed. Then, paint the other marine critters and animals using the same blending technique. The crab can be red and have orange highlights and dark purple shadows. Do the same with the fish and seashell and add some design patterns as well.



For the finishing touches, paint the eyes with black acrylic paint, or use a black marker but make sure that the paint is dry first before using the marker. After, paint the eyes with a tiny dot of white acrylic paint. This would create a glimmering effect on the eyes.


Optional: You can use white paint as well to create some bubbles under the sea by painting circles and shines inside it. This would give your artwork the effect and ambience of a livelier marine life!


Here's our finished piece. How does yours looks like?
Show us! Tag @artivitytime on ig


Enjoy our Art Kit?

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