Introduction: Deep Blue Sea: Technique for Beginners

About: Hello, my name is Auroris. Every day we have the opportunity to learn new things, to rethink tired processes, and to improve the way we work.

Hello friends. Today I want to share with you how to paint the "Deep Blue Sea" with a shark silhouette that amplifies the feeling like we are all underwater.

There are a lot of acrylic painting methods and techniques, however, I decided to make my tiny contribution and share my ideas. "Practice makes perfect"... sure, but I think this basic step-by-step instructable will help you to develop your skills. Give it a try!


  • Canvas / Hardboard Panel
  • Brushes
  • Handmade Stencil
  • Paints: Blue shades (I use: Phthalo blue, Cobalt blue, Sky blue, Viridian) + Black

Step 1: Keep Your Working Area Covered

I use craft paper to protect my table. This paper is pretty thick so it will also be my palette :)

Step 2: Apply the Colors. No Medium. No Water.

In this project, we will keep it very simple: Black + Blue acrylic paints

The main idea is to create a Deep Water gradient effect. Choose a diagonal direction and apply clean colors direct on the canvas. Start with light colors, and gradually move to darker ones.

Step 3: Blend the Colors

Take a big wide brush and start blending the paint from light blue to black with radial brush strokes. Paint with confidence, we are not searching for a perfect and smooth gradient. It's all about satisfaction, the creative process and the feeling that you're making an art piece ;)

Step 4: Brush Strokes

You may already like the result after Step 3, but I prefer to add texture and drama to your painting.

Remove the excess of paint from the brush and using light dab moves cover the darker side (hold the brush upright and use only its tip). Take another clean brush for the lighter side.

Tip: Finishing touches: Add a few drops of each color on your palette and complete your painting with some clear brush strokes.

Step 5: Silhouette

  1. Choose the Silhouette. It can be a whale, shark, jellyfish, octopus, maybe a diver, or even a mermaid. I have searched for "deep ocean silhouette" and picked a shark profile.
  2. Switch off the lights, place a piece of paper on top of a phone screen or monitor.
  3. Use a pencil to trace the image.
  4. Cut out the silhouette to make your own stencil.

Step 6: Image Transfer

Place the painting outside to dry for 2 hours (depends on coating thickness). Now you’re ready to get your stencil in place. Choose the position and use a tape to hold the stencil in place. When you start painting your stencil, gently dab the paint from edges to the center. Do not rub it back and forth, this will definitely cause the paint to squeeze under the stencil and make a mess.

Leave your painting to cure between 24 hours and a few days and then it's ready to hang.

I hope you give it a go for yourself.
And please don’t forget to visit my other projects. Oddly enough, they are also in blue shades))) Glowing LED Galaxy Painting, Gold Acrylic Abstract Painting.

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