Under The Sea Painting – Step By Step Acrylic Tutorial For Beginners

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Learn how to paint an under the sea ocean paint with acrylics on an 11″ x 14″ canvass. This design can besides work on any size sail. You will be guided through the steps on how to create the pretty greenish blue and deeply blue water background with the sandpaper ocean floor. then add seaweed and coral or even customize the types of coral reef plant life you would like to add. You can besides customize the types of fish in this paint. Enjoy and happy painting !

Looking for more under the sea paintings?

Check out Angelfish Under The Sea Painting & the portuguese man-of-war paint !


Yield: One 11 x 14 Canvas Painting

Under The Sea Painting Tutorial

Under The Sea Painting Tutorial Learn how to paint an beautiful submerged ocean scene step by step with acrylics on canvas. This is a novice friendly painting tutorial. Active Time

2 hours

30 minutes

Total Time

2 hours

30 minutes




  • Acrylic Paint 
  • 11 x 14 Canvas
  • Brushes
  • White Chalk Pencil 

Brush Sizes

  • 1″ Flat Wash Brush
  • #8 Round Brush
  • #2 Round Brush 


  • Titanium White
  • Mars Black
  • Quinacridone Magenta
  • Cadmium Orange Hue
  • Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue
  • Hooker’s Green Hue Permanent
  • Light Olive Green 
  • Unbleached Titanium 
  • Dioxazine Purple


  1. See full tutorial on www.stepbysteppainting.net for instructions!

PDF Download

Gain access to a PDF Download & Bonus Traceables ! This PDF Download is available in my PDF Tutorial shop .

Color Palette

Using Craft Paints?

Try substituting these colors :

  • Black
  • White
  • Antique Parchment (any sand color or mix brown with white)
  • Yellow Flame
  • Fuchsia
  • Jack O Lantern
  • Purple Iris
  • Bimini Blue
  • New Shamrock
  • Holly Branch
  • Too Blue

Directions At A Glance:


Step By Step Directions

1. Paint the ocean background colors & sand floor

Load your palette with titanium white, brilliantly greenish blue k, phthalo blue and unbleached titanium. get down at the top of the canvas with titanium white. Paint a one-half circle area at the exceed middle and go down about 3-4 inches. then load your brush in a little act of bright aqua green and lightly blend it into the white. rouge in crook strokes down the canvas . Continue to blend the bright greenish blue park into the titanium white. Continue to paint in all curl strokes down the sail. Gradually add more bright greenish blue green and less titanium white as your work your way down . Go a little past the one-half way degree with the greenish blue . then add a little phthlao blue sky on your brush. Mix it with a little greenish blue on your palette. then blend that phthalo blue & greenish blue to create a deep blue area of the ocean. Make sure your strokes are still going in a swerve guidance . Continue adding more phthalo blasphemous until you get about all the way down the canvas. then wipe off your brush. Add a little titanium white to your brush and blend the titanium white into the blue so that it gets slenderly lighter on the bottom. ( This will help with the blend of the sandpaper tinge in the following step ) then add a little amount of unbleached titanium to the bottom and blend it back up into the white/ phthalo blue. This backbone color is for the buttocks of the ocean shock. tap : unbleached titanium is such a strong tinge, a little goes a long room. Blend this in gently. It is besides approve if some aristocratic gets mix into the sand color on the ocean floor areas .

2. Paint a distant coral piece

Use a # 8 beat brush for this tone. Mix a little ashen into phthalo blue so that it becomes a lighter blasphemous. Paint a coral patch in the outdistance on the leave . then fill it in solid using round strokes. Use both the pthhalo blue sky and the titanium whiten and have the two colors mix together to create unlike variations of that color. Make the top character of that coral slenderly lighter and the bottom part slenderly dark . Define the bottom of the ocean floor with the unbleached titanium mix with a little bite of the blue/white. Paint a sort of flat telephone line in the center that goes upwards on the entrust and right .

3. Paint blue & green seaweed

Use the # 8 round brush and the phthalo blue and titanium white. Mix the two together and slenderly water system it down. Paint blue seaweed that branches up on the coral assemble. Make different variations of that white and amobarbital sodium . then paint some fleeceable seaweed. Load your pallette with hookers green hue permanent and lightly olive green. Use your # 8 round brush to load in both of the colors. Paint the seaweed on the lower bequeath area. Use the round brush to paint crinkled lines with variations in thickness. besides vary the ignite and dark green so the seaweed shows up with different colors of greens . Add minor fiddling round leaves on the seaweed using the same round brush and the lapp greens. You can besides add a little titanium ashen into the greens to lighten them up a bit.

4. Paint light rays

next paint the light rays that are going down at angles at the brightest lead contribution of thursday paint. Load the point of your # 8 round brush with a little measure of titanium white. then stroke quickly down to create rays of light at different angles . tip : make certain only a minor amount of rouge is on your brush. These light rays should be very thin and kind of translucent. To create that effect, it is about as if you are “ dry brush ” the strokes of rouge .

5. Paint more seaweed & coral pieces

Use the # 8 round brush to paint leaf shape/ pointed seaweed on the side of the coral. Use different variations of the greens to create this kind of seaweed . Paint the leaves so they are flowing in different directions towards the correct . rouge another seaweed implant on the bottom of the ocean floor . Load your pallette with cadmium jaundiced hue and titanium white. Paint another type of seaweed with that yellow. ( tip : adding ashen into the yellow helps it to be more opaque ) . then paint a column coral piece on the bottom. Load your palette with quinacridone magenta and a little bit of titanium white. rouge cylinder pieces using the # 8 round brush and the two colors ( magenta and white ) . Let the white and magenta blend together to create different variations of the two colors . future paint a bifurcate coral piece on the bottom using equitable the quinacridone magenta . Paint more long and flowing seaweed on the bottom left. I did this similar to the early seaweed piece on the exit. I did long flowing lines with polish leaves .

6. Paint starfish white

next use a # 2 polish brush to paint a starfish. It may besides be helpful to draw it out foremost with a chalk pencil. Paint it in firm white. You will need to wait for this to dry before you can paint it orange .

7. Paint dark coral on bottom left and right

Use a # 8 attack brush and dioxazine empurpled. Paint/ draw out the coral on the bottom left and bottom right of the painting. Paint openings in the coral deoxyadenosine monophosphate well. besides paint a small purple ovals on the top of the magenta cylinder pieces . Paint it solid with the imperial and a little bite of titanium white. Let unlike variations of the purple create texture/ highlighting on the coral .

8. Paint starfish orange (or other color)

When the white of the starfish is dry, paint it another color. I did mine with cadmium orange imbue .

9. Paint shadow and texture on ocean floor under starfish and coral

Use a combination of unbleached titanium and a fiddling spot of phthalo blue. Water it down to a very flimsy consistency. Paint a identical thin shady area under the starfish and some of the coral . Use unbleached titanium and a # 2 round brush to paint small dotted texture on the starfish .

10. Paint school of fish

Use a # 2 round brush to paint small fish up towards the top of the ocean. Use phthalo blue mixed with a little white. Paint small pisces with different variations of that blue and white . To create depth, paint smaller fish that are going in different directions. The closer to the top, the smaller the fish. Some of the fish are little bantam dots with no details because they are so far away . Some more details… Use a # 2 round of golf brush to paint little dots on the branched coral. besides loosely outline the top ellipse assemble on the branch coral .

11. Draw seahorse, angelfish & clownfish. Paint them in white.

I highly recommend using a pencil or egg white chalk pencil to draw all your sea creatures. Art Projects For Kids Blog has a set of great tutorials for drawing different ocean creatures such as this “ How To Draw A Seahorse ” tutorial . Draw the walrus with a objet d’art of methamphetamine and then fill it in solid with titanium white. Use a # 2 round brush to do this step . then draw a little spadefish. This is the same spadefish blueprint that I did in my Under The Sea Angelfish tutorial . then paint it in solid with titanium flannel . Draw the clownfish . then paint the clownfish titanium white .

12. Paint angelfish, sea horse and clownfish.

After the white from your sea creatures have dried, paint the colors in. For the angel shark, I used cadmium jaundiced medium hue to paint stripes on the pisces. Paint the walrus yellow with a little bit of orange mix into it to make a golden orange color. ( You can besides change the colors of any of these ocean creatures if you want ! ) Paint the little spikes on the walrus with just the orange. besides paint a white dot for the center of the walrus . then paint the black stripes on the angel shark. Paint the back tail five with mars black . Paint an eye and mouth on the angelfish. then paint the orange stripes on the clownfish . Paint the black marks on the clownfish tips of the fins and a black acid for the eye .

13. Paint jellyfish

Use your # 2 round brush and cadmium orange imbue mix with a little titanium white. Paint a bell shape for the top of the jellyfish assemble . then loosely paint the tentacles. Do this with very little key on the tip off of the brush. Let the white and the orange blend in concert to create different variations of the orange and the white . then paint a exchangeable portuguese man-of-war using quinacridone magenta mix with a little titanium white . You can keep adding more details and sea creatures ! That is it for this tutorial, hope you enjoyed ! Sign your name and show it off !

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