Turn a Picture Into a Story | Painting Boats

There’s something romantic and alluring about paintings of boats. They symbolize freedom and adventure, each one having its own story: where it has been and where it is going. If you’ve been on a boat (at sea, on a river, or a lake), you’ve probably felt that freedom and adventure yourself. It’s hard to think about anything on land when you’re at the mercy of the water beneath. Gentle swells or currents that have more strength than we often give credit for … these images come to mind when I view a painting of boats, at sea or at dock.

How to paint boats and seascapes
Artwork by Terry Harrison

It takes an understand of boating culture to successfully pull off a seascape or boat painting, and that’s where Terry Harrison comes in. In Painting Boats and Harbours in Watercolour, he explains not only the painting process as it can be applied to any subject, but also the intricacies of his expertise. For example, Harrison says that adding people to a scene can change a painting from a picture into a story.

“Boats and people often go together, and at any time in a harbour there is always something going on,” he says. “Messing about in boats is a major occupation for some people, and for some it’s an obsession. You don’t have to look far to find someone doing interesting things along the waterfront: sailors preparing to sail, craftsmen repairing crafts and the catch of the day being caught–even a survivor with his own paddle! Every scene tells a story.”

Harrison teaches you about using photographs, painting reflections, rigging, sails, jetties and harbour walls, as well as boatyard clutter, beaches, estuaries, figures and all the varied moods of the sea in Painting Boats and Harbours in Watercolour. It also features six step-by-step projects to give you a well-rounded foundation in exercising these concepts.

Wishing you freedom and adventure,

Cherie Haas, online editor
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