Sea-Foam Swirl, oil pastel

There’s no question that oil pastels can give even the most seasoned artist a challenge, I say, bring it on.   Because the medium never dries value ranges become ever more important in dramatizing a scene.  Painting waves gives the kind of challenge I spoke of and if I’m going to tackle a wave, then I look for the most intriguing and different looking ones that I can find.

On December 11, 2013 a blogger Earthstills (located somewhere in South Africa near Capetown) posted a photograph of the most fantastic close-up of a wave that I have seen in a long time.  So I asked Earthstills for permission to use his photograph as reference to paint this wave in oil pastels, I was thrilled when he said yes with criteria to give him credit and let him see the painting.  The swirl of sea-foam looked like silk or smooth taffy as it was backlit by the sun – simply stated, gorgeous.  Thank you Earthstills, your image is priceless  .  .  .  you can see his photograph for yourself at

Sea-Foam Swirl, (oil pastel, 8×10) was the challenge of all time, I loved it!  The wave was backlit and had thrashed about leaving swirls and holes that Earthstills caught with perfect timing.  I turned up the intensity of the overall light allowing me to capture a bit more of the colors in the forefront of the wave.  This was a great piece to work on, really loved capturing the kind of exotic movement that Earthstills caught with his lens.

Hope you enjoy .  .  .

Sea Foam Swirl


About Mary

Oil Pastelist
This entry was posted in About Oil Pastels, OPs New Paintings. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Sea-Foam Swirl, oil pastel

  1. mamiesmith says:

    This is incredible!! I love the movement!

  2. earthstills says:

    Wow, amazing!! You have worked some magic with the colour, light and motion, I love it! Thank you again for sharing your talent in this way 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thanks very much for your nice comments – glad you enjoyed the painting. Can’t thank you enough for your generous permission to use your photograph – it’s one of the best wave close-ups I’ve seen! Have a great weekend!

  3. The energy is palpable-gorgeous!

  4. dorannrule says:

    That is amazing! You have captured the photograph so perfectly it’s hard to tell one from the other. It’s nature at it’s best and art that follows.

    • Mary says:

      Oh Dorann, you certainly know how to make me feel great! In this case, I think nothing could surprise what nature gave us, Earthstills was quick enough to capture such fantastic action.

  5. Jackie says:

    Beautifully interpreted! 😀

  6. Very good. Love the blues you got.

  7. Don says:

    Wonderful work Mary. You’ve captured it so well.

  8. Ah, lovely work, Mary. I love your “sea-foam swirl” [great title btw!] 🙂

    • Mary says:

      You know how to make my day, thank you so much Maria!! Now I’m off to begin my new drawing – hope you are well and enjoying your Thursday.

  9. Painting for Joy says:

    You paint the sea so well!!! Love this!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you for your generous comment, means a lot. I keep seeing areas that I could work out more – might have another go after it sets for a while.

  10. It is beautiful. Again for me who can’t draw and paint, I am in awe with visual artists’ work. Your tools seem so much more complex than words.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Evelyne for your nice comment – really appreciate your kind words, because it takes me a long time to write the words don’t come easily. Isn’t it interesting? It’s why I have great admiration for writers – back at you!!

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