How To Paint Ocean Bubbles

deemarie · April 25, 2005 12:33 pm

Graphic409.jpgThere is one thing my poor ears are constantly assaulted with from others and it's comparable to fingernails screeching across a chalkboard. This "thing" has become almost as aggravating as an itch that can never be scratched. Curious - well, it goes something like this: "Oh it must be so nice being as talented as you are, how I wish I had even half your talent," or similar words! I know people mean well, but, in effect, they are contriving a built-in self-excuse for why they think they can't paint. One doesn't say to a plumber, "Oh you are so talented, how I wish I could plumb like you." It is common knowledge that the plumber spent considerable time learning the trade - no one is born with a pipe wrench in one hand and a billing invoice in the other, and an instant knowledge of the difference between a T-bone pipe and T-bone steak. I don't mean to burst anyone's balloons but learning to paint is exactly the same as learning to be anything from a doctor to a sanitation engineer (garbage handler). No person alive is born with the knowledge to be or do anything. It is as necessary for us to be taught how to eat, walk and talk as it is to learn how to be a lawyer, doctor, secretary, teacher, brain surgeon, singer, musician or an artist. What is a prerequisite is a deep and heartfelt desire to become whatever it is that most appeals to you. If humans are granted any inborn abilities, it is the ability to learn whatever they desire. Depending upon both environment and monetary station in life, if you love something from your heart, you will most certainly and naturally excel at it given the proper opportunity. Is this not how great people are made, or how greatness is acquired and/or achieved in any profession? Einstein failed math and most of his early scholastic training, but after he took a heartfelt interest in mathematics, he excelled and became known commonly as a genius in his field. No artist is born with an instant knowledge of how to paint anything. Even to learn how to mix paint properly takes time. In digital art, you are not born with the instant knowledge of how to operate PhotoShop 7, Paint Shop Pro 8, Poser, Bryce, or any 2D or 3D software program. Each and every piece of software has to be learned, usually, by long sessions of trial and error. Although some can afford professional training, time and learning are always long and involved.
The above two images are not exactly the best examples to illustrate the difference between what an untrained child might draw as a human head and what might be the end product of someone with a few years of experience behind them, but it will suffice. The doodles of a young child might show promise of an artist in the making, but those doodles, as we'll call them, originated from a heart's desire to draw something human. The more the child is both encouraged and permitted to draw, the better those small works of art become. If they are not encouraged and, sadly, if finances are restrictive, the artistic desires of the young child will eventually dull if not vanish altogether. Many a child has dreamed of becoming a doctor, but the lack of finances has ruined what could have been a brilliant if not a life saving career in medicine. The rich don't always make the best graduates. I don't wish to elaborate upon the evils of our educational and a monetary driven academic system. This tutorial is really about how easy it is for a person with the inner desire to become an accomplished artist, given the proper time to explore that desire. How To Paint Ocean Bubbles Here for your perusal and opportunity to paint, is a small excerpt from my How to Paint Sunlit Ocean Waves. This is the Paint Shop Pro 8 Version; however, there is also a PhotoShop 7 Version of the entire tutorial in the marketplace.
Start with a 1280 x 1280 blank canvas with white as your background. Using a soft brush set at about 30 pixels, make the blue water colors and the various sand shades you see here. You can easily do color samples from these pictures and a wonderful FREE Color Copier called Color Cop. Do drop by and download your FREE copy. Once you have your white background, divide the top one third into sea colors as illustrated, and the bottom two- thirds into the brown sandy colors shown. Using the FREE Color Cop above, you can do color samples right off this PDF file, then transfer those numbers to your paint program.
Using the smudge tool set at about 80 to 100 pixels (depending on the original size of the image), begin softly blending both the water and sand, each one into the other as shown above.
Add a new transparent layer. Now carefully paint a light blue foam line as you see here. Pay attention to get the foam on the left slanted inward to ward the center and the same with the foam on the right slanted inward to the center. This is necessary for proper perspective.
Select the airbrush tool and set it according to the samples in the image below.
With the airbrush settings at those illustrated above, turn off the Foam Layer by selecting the eye in the right hand menu. This should cause the light blue foam you painted to disappear. Now begin carefully airbrushing the sand from near the water color (sparingly) by clicking the mouse button only once (or, if you're using a graphics pen tablet, touching the pen to the tablet only once). Repeat this process until you have given the sand a relatively even speckled appearance. Start with a dark brown. Once finished, select a much lighter brown (almost white) and repeat the speckled airbrush dabbing procedure until you have speckled sand.
Create an even darker section on the sand to represent wet sand where the water has been but since receded. This is where the lighter speckles will be executed more sparingly. I've opened and closed the Foam Line Layer to better get an idea of where the wet sand is -- following the foam's curve. Notice with the Foam Layer reactivated here, that the speckled sand beneath the water is visible.
In this illustration, we have used the smudge tool set at about 75 to 100 and gently blended the wet sand area, which doesn't show the speckled pattern as readily as dry sand. Only larger debris such as pebbles and stones will show up in the wet sand. Now draw in a blue/black shadow line around the foam edge for a 3D appearance.
Making sure that you have the Foam Layer selected, choose the Eraser and set it to about 4 pixels. Using a small oval movement, erase oval bubble sections to reveal the sand below; then select black and set your brush tool at about 3 or 4 pixels and carefully draw in a black line on the inside far side of the oval bubble. On the outside bottom section, now draw a white line, and carefully draw a white top to the bubble like a dome visible in the left most bubble.
Use your smudge tool to soften the bubble edges and paint in a white highlight on the top left side of the bubble. Make it slightly curved as is illustrated to help give the rounded shape of the bubble. Also, soften up the water edge of the foam and add a few subdued shadow lines to the inner side of the foam sections. There are numerous methods to create both the sand and the foam and bubbles, but this is about the simplest of all of them.
Here's a finished shot of a larger section of the Foam Line. Remember, my friends, this is a mini-tutorial taken and elaborated on from my other two main tutorials How to Paint Sunlit Ocean Waves in Paint Shop Pro 8 and PhotoShop 7 formats.
Graphic408.jpgFull versions of Jason's tutorial can be found in the Renderosity MarketPlace. How To Paint Sunlit Ocean Waves - PSP8 How To Paint Sunlit Ocean Waves - PS7 We invite you to take a stroll through Jason's Renderosity Art Gallery, and visit Jason's Renderosity MarketPlace Online Store for additional tutorials. April 25

Article Comments

ppetersen ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 25 April 2005

Wonderful tutorial and fully agree with you on the 'desire' to be ... for it's the desire that gives us the impetus to find the means when we have little in the way of resources... :)

Charmz ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 27 April 2005

Racin! so good to see your work in a tutorial! You said much the same thing to me once and I took it to heart.. and you are right! My painting has gotten so much better! Thanks for sharing your techniques with the rest of us!

mallethead ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 27 April 2005

Thank you for this lovely tutorial and the encouraging comments about what it takes to develop artistic skills...It's what I wish I had been told as a child, and validates what I've suspected in my heart as a grown-up!

KimberlyC ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 27 April 2005

What a wonderful tutorial! Thanks for sharing some of it with us! :)

WZRD ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 28 April 2005

A very helpful tutorial - my thanks. The best part is your thoughts at the start. I am a musician and an artist (amongst other things) and I get really tired of well-meaning people saying how talented I am when talent is not a factor: it's all desire. Thanks for telling it like (I think) it is!

Claywoman ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 28 April 2005


Afthought ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 28 April 2005

Clearly written guide to getting started. An old hand at digital art said he wished this "kinda stuff" had been around 30 years ago.

JenX ( posted at 12:00AM Fri, 29 April 2005

:D Thanks for sharing this with us!! This is a great tutorial!

dragonfly2000 ( posted at 12:00AM Fri, 29 April 2005

Every thing this man puts his mind and hand to is of the highest quality. Well done my friend.

dido6 ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 02 May 2005

Very awesome!! thank you for sharing!

pinktwister ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 03 May 2005

Thanks, not only for the tutorial, but for the encouraging words!