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Critiques for Painting Waves at Waipu Cove

February 27, 2023
By Richard Robinson
Critiques for Painting Waves at Waipu Cove logo

Take your wave paintings to the next level.

Two months after I made the Painting Waves course I decided to add this bonus chapter, including all the new learning I had done myself, learning from master artists like William Trost Richards, Ruo Li, and Roy Tabora.

"Waipu Cove Paradise" 10x30" Acrylic on Canvas by Richard Robinson

I've taken this long format painting and reimagined it in a shorter canvas better suited to video (below), so you can learn all the skills and concepts required to apply to any beach you love. Enjoy!

Learn About

  • Intensifying your colours
  • Polishing your wave painting techniques
  • Creating dramatic skies
  • Layering techniques in acrylics


What materials are used in this lesson?

Atelier Interactive Acrylics
Phthalo Blue
Brilliant Magenta
Napthol Red Light / Cadmium Red Light
Yellow Ochre
Arylamide Yellow Light / Cadmium Yellow Light
Titanium White

Fredrix ultrasmooth canvas.
You could use a canvas panel or anything you prefer.

Rosemary & Co. Richard Robinson Brush Set

Palette knife
Paper towels
Stay-wet palette
Water spray bottle


Waipu Cove

Waipu Cove16x20" Acrylic on Canvas by Richard Robinson

STEP 1: One of the main things I learned was that it's far easier when using acrylics to begin with a block-in like this and work over it when it's dry. It helps avoid that scratchy look you normally get when the brush bristles scrape through the paint to the canvas.

Student Critiques

Waipu Beach by Jay Trotter

Great work, Jay. Strong colour and confident brushwork. Good to see. I'd suggest you take a look at this in a mirror or flip it over in the computer and take a note of the things that seem a little off to your eye in the first few seconds of viewing it. Some of the foam angles are off.

You've got a great glowing effect in the sky but the cloud shapes themselves could do with some more thought.

When you're adding the lights to a tree try to make family groupings of shapes rather than dabbing the same pattern all over.

Overall very nice.


Sunset breaks, acrylic with oil glazing, canvas, 40cm x 50cm by Elena Sokolova

Bold colourful work Elena, as usual. Just two things I'd like to tweak.
The gradation of colour from dark to light in the clouds could be smoother. You could create more of a soft blur of sea spray over and around the foam crashing against the rocks in the distance. Currently their sharp edges bring them forward too much.
Good job!


Waipu Cove in Oils by Geoffrey Geeson

Hi Geoffrey, pretty decent drawing and colour work here! Great wave shape. My only tip would be to avoid over-painting as much as you can. You've done a fair bit of overpainting, most prevalent here in the sky.

The only way to achieve a fresh painterly look without over-working the paint is to consider each brushstroke before you place it. What do I want to achieve with this stroke? How will I load the paint on the brush to achieve that? Is the paint the right thickness for my purpose? Am I using the best brush for that? How will I move and turn the brush to achieve that? All those questions go into brushwork that actually looks effortless when it's achieved.

Of course, it's easier the second, third, fourth time you paint a thing. You build a brushstroke toolkit in your mind for achieving different things over time. That's why I'd like to challenge you to paint this again but with all those brushstrokey thoughts in mind as you go through the painting. Other than that, you've got everything working nicely in this painting.


Waves at Waipu Cove 53x56cm by Anne-Dore Leisering

Hi Anne-Dore, good job with the drawing and colour, and some of that brushwork is elegant, particularly in the tree and the foreground thin foam.

I'd like to see a more gradual transition from dark cool to warm light in the clouds. Not easy, I know.

Also, painting over some of the choppy foam pattern in the face of the swell behind the main wave would help simplify it and smooth it out.




Over 9 hours of online lessons.

The ocean is such an alluring subject for painters, but to paint it well there's a LOT to know - not just the concepts, but also the techniques. That's what you'll learn here, in spades.

You can spend years tracking down all this knowledge, or take the fast track and learn it all in one place. With this detailed guided course you can learn to paint beautiful waves, fast.

Who is this course designed for?
ALL skill levels from beginner to advanced.
Oils or Acrylics.

Learn About

  • The 4 step process to painting any wave.
  • Specific brush techniques for beautiful effects.
  • How to design a successful wave painting.
  • How to invent rocks and place them properly.
  • Create colour schemes that just work.
  • and MUCH more.

Get the full course here:

Thanks to everyone who was part of the monthly workshop!

(Monthly workshops are available to all Premium Members - $20/month)