Painting an ocean wave with a palette knife

How to paint an ocean wave with only a palette knife and three primary colors.

There are many ways to paint water. This demo covers the entire process of one of my favorites! From mixing colors to block-in to slowly building up the layers to the finishing touches that will tie it all together, creating an illusion of moving water.

All done with only a palette knife and three primary colors.

I invite you to create this painting with me:

This course includes:

  • Three hours of real-time demo. No time lapses, no skipped parts of the process.
  • The art materials I use, and how you can choose alternative tools and supplies for your painting.
  • Detailed video demonstration on color mixing.
  • The view of my palette as I work. You'll see exactly how I mix those elusive colors for painting water.
  • Subtitles in 11 languages are available for all videos:

  • See course curriculum for details:

Get started now!

This course is for you if:

  • You have trouble painting ocean waves with a palette knife
  • You find painting water frustrating
  • You don't know where to even begin
  • You have been painting water for some time, but after seeing my paintings you think you can learn something from me
  • You tried to paint water, but it just doesn't look real
  • You are looking for a new approach to painting water because the old one doesn't seem to work anymore
  • You need a dose of inspiration to get back to painting again
  • You need a gift for your artist friend :)

Frequently Asked Questions

My life is so busy right now, I honestly have no time for painting. Can I start later?
The course starts the moment you enroll. But you will have access to it for life! It is completely self-paced - you decide when you start and when you finish. You can work on it each day and finish in 1-2 weeks! (depending on how fast your paint dries between layers). Or you can start later, log in whenever you have the time, and fit it into your busy schedule.

How long do I have access to the course?

As long as you have WiFi :) After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.

Are there subtitles available?

Yes! Subtitles are available in 11 languages:

Can I still benefit from this class if I paint with acrylics?
Yes, I mostly focus on the underlying reasons for choosing a certain color or shape, no matter the medium. So you can still learn how to paint water with a palette knife, with the condition that you already know your medium well enough to adapt this information.
But it is best suited for oils.
Also, you can try oils this time, maybe you'll like it:)

Does the course include personal feedback and critique?
No, I will not be able to work individually with each student. Also, I do not critique anyone's work as there's no right or wrong in art. I share what I do and how I do it, and you can pick and choose what works for you.

Will I learn how to market my work/approach galleries/build my website?
No. This is not an art marketing course.

Your Instructor

Irina  Cumberland, Ocean-taught artist​
Irina Cumberland, Ocean-taught artist​

Even though now I paint realistic water for a living, relatively proud of my work and selling almost everything I paint, there was a time when I was just as frustrated and overwhelmed with painting the ocean as you may be today.

I was painting 5 seascapes on top of one another and then throwing that very thick canvas away, because I JUST couldn't understand how to make it look like water instead of some solid blobs of blue and white.

Gradually, as I was watching the ocean for hours every single morning, I started to notice certain patterns and principles that I could apply in my paintings to make it look more realistic. It took many years of trial and error, and wasted paint and canvases, to get to where I am today.

Now I would like to help you to understand the main principles of painting realistic water, to give you a head start and save you years of trying to figure it out on your own, so that you can become confident and clear in creating your own "Quit your day job" worthy water paintings and be on your way to living YOUR dream.

Let's Paint-A-Wave together! :)

Get started now!