Seascape Painting Part I: The Landscape

Seascape Painting Part I: The Landscape
This Photoshop tutorial will show you how to complete an underwater landscape painting step by step. This is part one of a two part series. Seascape Painting Part II will show you how to draw the fishes and apply finishing touches to the painting.

Preview of Final Results


Seascape Drawing

Seascape Part I: The Landscape Photoshop Tutorial

  • Program: Photoshop 7
  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Estimated Completion Time: 20 minutes
*This tutorial was meant to be completed using a pen tablet. If you are using a mouse, the brush sizes will be irrelevant. However, a good estimate for brush sizes when using a mouse is about 1/3 the size of the brush I am using.

Step 1

Open a new project (16 x 20 inches, 300 pdi).
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Step 2

Use color #0095A2 and the paint bucket tool to fill in the background layer with a teal blue.
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Step 3

Make a new layer titled “ocean floor” above the background.
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Step 4

Block in the ocean foreground with color #A87300 (261 pixels, opaque, hard edged round brush).
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Step 5

Indicate the major shadows with color #926400 and the same brush.
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Step 6

Highlight the floor with color #AF7800.
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Step 7

Make a new layer “coral” above the other layers.
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Step 8

Now using color #C80059 (165 pixel brush), block in 2-3 coral bunches. These corals look kind of like little stubby trees, with short, rounded arms.
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Step 9

Now, using a 90 pixel opaque brush and color #AA004C add shadows to the coral.
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Step 10

Using the same brush, highlight the center of the coral stocks with color #E50066.
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Step 11

Use the magic wand tool to select the area around the coral. Now, select the inverse (shift + ctrl + I), and copy and paste the coral onto a new layer. Move the new coral so that it matches up with the coral beneath it.
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Step 12

Now use the same process to select the coral only, and apply a Gaussian blur filter or 9 pixels (Filter à blur à Gaussian blur).
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Step 13

Merge the layer down (ctrl + E).
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Step 14

Now using color #1956B1, block in some blue, plant-like coral (using a size 87 pixel brush).
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Step 15

Use the magic wand tool to select the blue seaweed on the coral layer.
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Step 16

Copy and paste the blue coral onto a new layer. (This will keep the coral from having fuzzy edges).
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Step 17

Add shadows to the coral with color #12499B and a 30 pixel opaque brush.
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Step 18

Using the same brush, highlight the coral with color #3570C7.
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Step 19

Now using the same technique from step 11, select the coral with the magic wand tool.
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Step 20

Apply a 3.6 pixel Gaussian blur to the layer.
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Step 21

Merge down the layer.
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Step 22

Make a new layer, “coral 2”.
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Step 23

Using color #9000D8 block in 2-3 dome shaped corals.
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Step 24

Repeat the same process with color #90009D, placing them in little groups across the sea floor.
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Step 25

Now make little holes in their tops with the burn tool (100% exposure, midtones, 95 pixels, hard-edged brush).
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Step 26

Now use the dodge tool to highlight them (30% exposure, highlights mode, 600 pixels soft edged brush).
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Step 27

Going back to the dodge tool, change the settings to a soft round brush at 80% exposure (and shadow mode), and block in the cast shadows on the corals. This will define that there are more than one separate corals in the bunches.

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