How to Create a Beautiful Underwater Scene Painting
We've always been mesmerized by Peta Ciraolo's underwater floral paintings. That's why we're delighted to have her here on our blog today to talk about her art!
From her choice of materials to how she selects her color palette, she'll be sharing key insights on how she creates her beautiful underwater masterpieces. Read on below to get to know this amazing artist! Take it away, Peta!
Painting is an obsession and a passion for me and these days it’s simply a part of who I am rather something that I just like to do. Refer to the random paint splashes on my hair, my clothes, and sometimes even my pets!
Amongst others I’ve been painting what have become my 'Underwater Florals’ this year and here I'll give you a little insight into my process with these.
Although I do also paint these on a much larger scale on canvas, here I use heavy weight 360gsm A4 paper which I tape firstly with Removable Tape to allow for crisp edges on the finished product and then any sort of masking tape to hold firmly down to my cardboard.
Choosing my colour palette can take some time and it's very important to choose colours which will compliment and blend well. I also like to add in one colour that will 'pop' to give some spark. Often a fluoro yellow or pink works perfectly. I will always incorporate metallics, either gold, silver or pearlescent white depending on the overall colour tone of the painting.
I use quite a variety of brushes to achieve different styled brushstrokes and I’m always keen and excited to find a quirky or different shaped brush (or any tool) to see what it can do! Don't restrict yourself to only using traditional brushes or palette knives, literally anything has potential to make just the right mark! Be adventurous and experiment! Before starting I set my brushes and tools out to save me searching mid-way through for just the right one. My favourites are Filberts, Angled Wedges and Fan Brushes. I have just bought some new Mitres which I am very keen to try out!
Then it's time to paint!
HOW TO CREATE A BEAUTIFUL UNDERWATER SCENE PAINTING:
I like to use two colors for the base of my background. With a large flat brush, I layer the darker color on the bottom of the canvas, and the lighter color on top the top half. I then blend the colors using white paint.
For the foreground, I build up the layers of foliage starting with a dark violet color working up to different pink hues which are used for the flowers. I keep adding more details to infer depth and give the viewer the perception this is just a snapshot of a much larger scene. I fill the entire area and ignore my tape lines.
Once I’m satisfied with the composition I’ll add and complete the light effect through the water and then I’m ready to strip off the tape to reveal a scene that transcends to a calm, almost mystical place which can transport the viewer away from the present, even if momentarily.
These are so enjoyable to paint and if you would like to try one of your own, make sure to tag me @petapaints as I’d love to see your creations.
CHECK OUT THE FINISHED PIECE BELOW:
Have a question about this process? Comment below and we'll do our best to answer you!
To see more of Peta's work, visit or contact her on the following channels: