Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes and Waves

1
Reference Photos for Artists: Sandy Beach

Free Artists Reference Photo of a Beach
Seascape Reference Photos for Artists A sandy beach with the bay sweeping around in the distance. Photo © Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc.

A collection of seascape photos to use as reference in paintings.

Do you want to capture the ultimate wave on canvas? Or paint a seascape where you can practically hear the sea roar as you stand in front of it? Then this collection of seascape reference photos is sure to inspire you.

See also: Terms of Use of these Artist's Reference Photos.

This reference photo shows a sandy beach with the bay sweeping around in the distance.

If using this photo as a reference for a painting, you'll need to decide whether to have the beach as sandy only, or whether to include the rocks, figures, and/or driftwood. You might even extend the rocks into a bigger outcrop. You'll also need to decide whether you're going to include the hills in the distance, where the bay curves around, or whether you're going to leave them out. Notice the angle at which the waves are coming towards the shore in the photo, that they're not coming directly towards you.

• How to Paint Small Figures from Photos

2
Reference Photos for Artists: Sandy Beach with Horse Riders

Free Artists Reference Photo Horses on a Beach
Seascape Reference Photos for Artists The horses and riders provide a focal point to this composition. Photo © Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc.

• This photo is the subject for the Painting Photos Challenge #17.

The horses and riders provide a focal point in this photo, pulling in your eye on various levels, including tone and shape. Notice how the darker tone of the horses stands out against the softer tones of the rest of the scene. How the tracks in the sand guide your eye up towards the horses, as does the line between the sea and sand.

Hold up your hand to crop off the hill in the distance, and you'll see how this darker tone gives a strong sense of distance to the scene. It also breaks up the straight line on the horizon, adding visual interest, something for the eye to pause and look at.

• How to Paint Small Figures from Photos

3
Tsitsikamma Seascape 1

Reference Photos for Artist: Seascape, Tsitsikamma
Seascape Reference Photos for Artists. Image: ©2007 Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc.

This is one of a series of 12 photos taken of the same stretch of coastline (at Storm's River Mouth in the Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa) at various times of day and in various weather conditions. As a group they show the potential that one scene can have for a series painting, that painting a seascape once doesn't use up all its possibilities.

4
Tsitsikamma Seascape 2

Reference Photos for Artist: Seascape, Tsitsikamma
Seascape Reference Photos for Artists. Image: ©2007 Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc.

5
Tsitsikamma Seascape 3

Reference Photos for Artist: Seascape, Tsitsikamma
Seascape Reference Photos for Artists. Image: ©2007 Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc.

6
Tsitsikamma Seascape 4

Reference Photos for Artists: Seascape, Tsitsikamma
Seascape Reference Photos for Artists. Image: ©2007 Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc.

7
Tsitsikamma Seascape 5

Seascape Reference Photos for Artists: Tsitsikamma Gray Sky
Seascape Reference Photos for Artists. Image: ©2007 Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc.

8
Tsitsikamma Seascape 6

Reference Photos for Artist: Seascape, Tsitsikamma
Seascape Reference Photos for Artists. Image: ©2007 Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc.

9
Tsitsikamma Seascape 7

Reference Photos for Artist: Seascape, Tsitsikamma
Seascape Reference Photos for Artists. Image: ©2007 Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc.

10
Tsitsikamma Seascape 8

Reference Photos for Artist: Seascape, Tsitsikamma
Seascape Reference Photos for Artists. Image: ©2007 Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc.

11
Tsitsikamma Seascape 9

Reference Photos for Artist: Seascape, Tsitsikamma
Seascape Reference Photos for Artists. Image: ©2007 Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc.

12
Tsitsikamma Seascape 10

Reference Photos for Artist: Seascape, Tsitsikamma
Seascape Reference Photos for Artists. Image: ©2007 Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc.

13
Tsitsikamma Seascape 11

Reference Photos for Artist: Seascape, Tsitsikamma
Seascape Reference Photos for Artists. Image: ©2007 Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc.

14
Tsitsikamma Seascape 12

Reference Photos for Artist: Seascape, Tsitsikamma
Seascape Reference Photos for Artists. Image: ©2007 Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc.

15
Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes 1

Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.
Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.

16
Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes 2

Buffels Bay, South Africa.
Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.

17
Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes 3

Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.
Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.

18
Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes 4

Buffels Bay, South Africa.
Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.

19
Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes 5

Buffels Bay, South Africa.
Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.

20
Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes 6

Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.
Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.

21
Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes 7

Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.
Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.

22
Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes 8

Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.
Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.

23
Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes 9

Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.
Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.

24
Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes 10

Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.
Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.

25
Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes 11

Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.
Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha. Photo by Clark Botha.

26
Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes 12

Buffels Bay, South Africa.
Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha. Photo by Clark Botha.

27
Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes 13

Buffels Bay, South Africa.
Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.

28
Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes 14

Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.
Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.

29
Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes 15

Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.
Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.

30
Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes 16

Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.
Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.

31
Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes 17

Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.
Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.

32
Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes 18

Buffels Bay, South Africa.
Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.

33
Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes 19

34
Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes 20

Buffels Bay, South Africa.
Buffels Bay, South Africa. Photo by Clark Botha.

35
Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes 21

Reference Photos for Artists: Tybee Island Beach 1
Tybee Island Beach, near Savannah, Ga., USA. Photo by Dana.

36
Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes 22

Seascape Reference Photos for Artists: Tybee Island Beach 5
Tybee Island Beach, near Savannah, Ga., USA. Photo by Dana

37
Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes 23

Seascape Reference Photos for Artists: Tybee Island Beach 4
Tybee Island Beach, near Savannah, Ga., USA. Photo by Dana.

38
Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes 24

Seascape Reference Photos for Artists: Tybee Island Beach 3
Tybee Island Beach, near Savannah, Ga., USA. Photo by Dana.

39
Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes 25

Seascape Reference Photos for Artists: Tybee Island Beach 2
Tybee Island Beach, near Savannah, Ga., USA. Photo by Dana.