Child on the beach watercolor step-by-step

child sitting cross-legged on the beach watercolor portrait painting When I was a kid, my family used to go to interesting places like beaches and river banks and forests a lot. I guess it was easier with one or two children than later with three or four (I have three younger brothers). The coast of the Black sea was a mandatory annual pilgrimage. I was sick a lot and the sea air, salty water, and the sun was supposed to help with the constantly stuffy nose, sore throat, and any other ailment. I don't remember if they did, but the summer days spent near the sea were some of the happiest days of my childhood.

This painting reminds me a lot about those days. Lazy picnics with watermelons and cherries, seashells and colorful stones which gave me a wonderful sense of discovery, every single one of them. "Kazinaki" - sweets made out of shelled sunflower seeds and caramelized sugar. Street artists.

The girl in the painting lives in Canada and is graduating from medical school this year. The painting is a graduation present for her parents (what an idea!).  As usual, I started with a sketch to get familiar with the subject, think through the composition, color, and hopefully, detect any possible issues. I recommended zooming in on the girl but the setting in this case is very important to the clients, the special place they went on a vacation to.

little girl on the beach watercolor sketch

Next step is the drawing. I used the grid method.

drawing little girl on the beach

On to the first washes:

watercolor painting in progress little girl on the beach

The left eye didn't quite work out at first, so I wash it off. Making the background deeper and filling in the skin:

child on the beach in progress

Fixed the eye. Even darker background, which turned out to be a bit of an overkill...:

child on the beach painting in progress

Lifted off some of the background, more detail throughout, especially on the figure and foreground:

little girl on the beach watercolor in progress

And the finished painting:

little girl on the beach watercolor painting

Interested in a painting based on your own favorite memories? More information here.