Acrylic Painting – Ocean Study 4: A Study based on Winslow Homer’s Weatherbeaten

Winslow Homer, an American artist, loved Maine and many of his paintings originated along the coast   A favorite spot of his was Prouts Neck, a southern peninsula along the coast of Scarborough, Maine – this a place that I’m very familiar with.  When we first moved to Maine some years back it was winter during off-season, so we rented a tiny place on the water right across from Prouts Neck- the spot where Homer painted Weatherbeaten and many other scenes.  Both his technical skills and understanding of the landscape was not to be beat in bringing stormy Maine coastal scenes alive in his paintings.  I choose Homer’s to study for this next acrylic ocean scene.

Ocean Study 4 (acrylic, hardboard, 7 x 14):  A study based on Winslow Homer’s Weatherbeaten painting.  Homer’s painting had so many interesting aspects to study:  stormy atmosphere, scumbling in the sky showing a foggy sea-foam spray, stormy sky in the distance, sea-foam patterns, energy and movement of the water, and rocks.  As I studied Homer’s work I formed a greater appreciation for his style, technical skills and intricacies in his work.  The slabs of rock were formed by glaciers sliding across the land millions of years ago – I studied these actual slabs during a field trip in a geology class with the University of Southern Maine.  How cool was it to paint this same spot some 25 years later – loved it!!

It was great fun reliving history through this one painting.  Click onto the image for a larger view.

Study of Winslow Homer Weatherbeaten


About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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87 Responses to Acrylic Painting – Ocean Study 4: A Study based on Winslow Homer’s Weatherbeaten

  1. Very cool. Amazing to be able to lay down paint and people can recognize boulders on a shore 25 years later.

  2. I of July says:

    love the liquid motion… gives it feeling – a kind of beautiful violence 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Heath – really enjoyed your reading of the painting. Water is an amazing subject, bringing on many different tempo’s – violence is one of them, as is calming and tranquil.

  3. Excellent, Mary! Terrific color and texture!

  4. Wow Mary! This is just stunning. I love it all… color choices, movement, subject matter… Bravo!! ~Rita

  5. You have introduced me to a new artist. I was unfamiliar with Winslow Homer, so I did a quick online search – and I love his work!

    That’s a neat story you posted about returning to this spot all those years later. It’s a wonderful story to go with a wonderful piece.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks so much and glad you enjoyed learning about Homer, he was an awesome seascape artist. A lot of history with the State of Maine and this was a neat way to remember some special places.

  6. Amy says:

    Studies Homer’s work… and paint the same spot some 25 years later. Awesome feeling, I am sure. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and stunning painting, Mary. Love it!!
    Sorry, I didn’t catch this one earlier.

  7. Michael says:

    Mary, this is amazing almost like I am watching Bob Ross on TV.

  8. Painting for Joy says:

    Exquisite!!! This can’t possibly be the first time you’ve ever used paint? I love it! Especially where the water pools on to the rocks.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Rhonda – I think I was just ready to jump and had no fear where I would land. Was a great time painting this scene, much learning and more to go.

  9. dorannrule says:

    Superb! I know you must get tired of hearing that, but you have really captured the power in this one. 🙂

  10. Alok Singhal says:

    It is an awesome experience to relive what somebody did so many years back. Your painting is beautiful…i would consider it a tribute to Homer!

  11. dsaquarelles says:

    it is impressionist! Superb! It seems for me that you are more free with acrylic?

  12. Acrylic painting looks good on you, Mary! 🙂 Cool that you may have stood in the exact spot as Homer.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Geralyn! There is so much history where he painted – a wonderful opportunity for anyone that is interested in his life and work can check out the Portland Art Museum.

  13. Marick says:

    This is excellent!!!! I love your water crash a bit more than his, but I do prefer his rocks — but ONLY because his have a touch more detail to them. Yours are still really well done, of course! In a way, I like the lesser details, as it draws your eyes more to the wave. Bah, listen to me, I could never do something like this! 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Pauline for your feedback and thoughts on the piece, really appreciated. Homer paints some beautiful rock structures that I plan to study more for techniques and stroke lines. I didn’t use a line brush on the rocks, only because I’m still learning the particulars with each brush – next painting I’ll use a small liner to create a bit more detail. Great feedback – thank you!

  14. Boy, if anyone was a born artist, it’s you. Beat up brushes, new medium, and virtually no learning curve?! Look out y’all, Mary’s on the move! 💛

  15. Paul Beech says:

    Awesome – the roar of the waves, the drenching spray, the salt tang… it’s all there. You sure are a whiz with acrylics, Mary.



  16. elisa ruland says:

    Interesting background on Homer, Mary. Gives an extra layer to your beautiful painting.

  17. Anonymous says:

    You will have runaway success with this medium.

  18. Wow – crashing waves and stunning study.

  19. Wow, Mary! This is great. You capture the water crashing so powerfully.

  20. Don says:

    Wow! Mary. I can just hear and feel the storminess of that sea. Your rocks are so good. A lot of energy in the painting, especially in the wave. I love the way you have captured a kind of heaving swell in the wave as well.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Don for your generous comments and reaction to this painting. Still getting a feel for the drag on the brush for rock detail, suppose using a liner brush would have helped for detail, I’m hoping that over time I get more acquainted with each unique use of the various brushes. Love your description of “heaving swell,” there is something very magical about the force of bulky waves and heaving swells as they come roaring into shore.

  21. A truly powerful place to sit and paint the scene. You’ve done a wonderful rendition Mary.

  22. Jet Eliot says:

    Oh Mary, your painting is just exquisite. Congratulations! 🙂

  23. debiriley says:

    Mary, I really loved this painting! the sea spray is gorgeous & the warmth you put into the foreground slabs is fab. the other thing I love about it, is that you have had a – Personal Connection – to the place!!! and that is conveyed in the painting brilliantly for me 🙂 I am always spell bound when someone paints what they know and love, as that feeling always shines thru. Loved It!

    • Mary says:

      Thanks very much Debi for your feedback on the painting – my scrubby brush came in handy to work the sea spray and used a lot of dry brushing in the area. The place is closed off from the public, except for a small portion these days which is a shame. It is one of those rare open spaces facing the ocean getting a constant hammering – hear the roaring sea!

  24. Wow Mary it would seem that you have found your medium. Your use of the acrylic medium is positively superb….and you have captured Homer’s great energy. I am also a lover of Maine and hope that I can get back there soon to paint again….Wonderful. Janet.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Janet. I’m still getting a feel for the paint – hope one day to glaze, but for the time being I’m happy to find my way with seascapes. I’m amazed at how subtle colors can be mixed, so my whites aren’t pure white – in this painting the brightest area of thick sea-foam was white mixed with cadium yellow-medium hue. And for the scumbling over the sky I used white, with the slightest dabs of payne’s gray and ultramarine blue. I could spend days just learning color mixtures. Thanks Janet, I really appreciate it!

      • When you get to the point where you can almost taste the colour you need to add – almost like cooking (although I am not much of a cook:) – it will be like magic, alchemy. You are clearly a natural with this, and I can see will be doing all sorts of wonderful things. Great stuff, Mary…

        • Mary says:

          Thank you Janet for your vote of confidence. This has been an interesting ride, looking forward to the challenges and rewards of this medium.

  25. MAGNY TJELTA says:

    Your work is amazing. So powerful.

  26. Resa says:

    How intensely amazing that you are able to taste/live through history by painting! I love it & I feel like I have a front row seat in Mary’s time machine. You can take me away anytime!!!

  27. Fabulous piece, Mary. Eat your heart out, Winslow!

  28. A.PROMPTreply says:

    Nature’s fury captured in a canvas! Love the energy on this one, Mary!

  29. Even if it’s a study of another painting, there’s something very special about painting a scene that you know from your own experience, and that comes through, Mary. I am so excited about what you’re doing now. Get those new brushes!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Cynthia – it’s been very rewarding to go off in another direction for a bit. There is much to learn by way of subtleties in technique and color, but studying works of some of the greats will do wonders in moving me along. In this particular Prouts Neck scene there is so much that I can identify with, from the icy-cold stiff breeze coming off the ocean, to the moody dark skies, to the large flat rocks (that everyone loves to sit on) getting a direct hit from the onslaught of pounding waves – yes this is an awesome time for turning and finding a new dimension with my art! Thank you for your encouragement and support, I hear you about the brushes!

  30. exiledprospero says:

    Your study has paid off, Mary. Exceptional mood. Very dramatic. Another acrylic and another of one of my favorites.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Prospero. I wanted challenge and this scene was perfect, in both learning and admiring one of the great seascape artists. I was totally drawn to the light/dark sea-foam/rock contrasts, against the moody storm sky – a very cool scene to work out. His painting was spectacular to work from.

  31. Wonderfully done, Mary. What a gifted painter you are!… 🙂

  32. Ah, Mary, your excitement working on this painting is so evident! Great job, my dear! 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Marina – I was having a great time working the scene. Most of the time this place is gray and dreary, rains a lot along the coast of Maine – Homer depicts the mood of the atmosphere so well, was great to study his work. Have a wonderful week ahead my friend.

  33. Susan Feniak says:

    Mary, I am wordless, or rather I can’t find the words to say what an exceptional painting this is. XX

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Susan. It was a very special scene and fell in love with the place all over again. You’d have a good laugh if you saw the old and beat-up paint brushes I’m using – I think I need to invest in some half-way decent brushes if I’m going to continue painting with acrylics. Thanks and have a great week ~

      • Susan Feniak says:

        I can see why you fell in love with the scene and the place all over again!
        Its nice to have good tools to work with but Acrylic paints are hard on brushes.
        You have a good week too.

        • Mary says:

          I kind of beaten them up scrubbing for underpaintings and with some of the hairs sticking out that’s not giving me some of the straight-edge I’d like. But I’ll make do until I’m sold on moving along with these studies. Thanks Susan!!

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