Painting a Pin Up | 06 |Creating the Background

how to paint pin up style starfish

How to Paint Pin up Style: Coloring the Starfish

Want to know more about how to paint pin up style?

First, select a red color and then use the exact same painting technique that you’ve been using throughout this entire series to color in the starfish.

This is the last thing to color before you’ll move into working on the background environment.

painting pin ups painting sand

Start Painting the Sand

For the next part of this tutorial on how to paint pin up style, select a nice brown color and create a new layer for the background. While you are painting the sand, keep in mind how sand reacts with the water as the waves wash up and over.

The water makes the sand darker, so naturally as the sand goes into the background away from the character towards the water the color will change.

how to paint pin up girls painting sea

Painting the Water

Select a darker blue color and start painting in the water all the way back to the horizon line. What’s a horizon line you might ask? Well, it’s the horizontal line where the clouds meet the land surface of the earth, or in the case of this drawing the water surface of the ocean.

As the water goes back towards the horizon line it should get darker. The sand underneath the water as it gets closer to our character will reflect light and change the water’s color to be lighter.

If you’re lucky enough to ever make it to one of the beautiful beaches on the Caribbean you can see this effect and how much it affects the water!

For the next part of our how to paint pin up style tutorial, you can add an even lighter shade to the water as the little wave rolls up over the sand, creating some foam along the surface of the water.

If you need more visual references for water and sand and how the interact with each other, don’t forget that you can always Google search almost any kind of reference you can think of and see how it looks in real life.

paint a pin up sailor girl adding shadow

Painting Clouds

Select a white color and then lightly add some random brush strokes on top of the horizon line to indicate clouds and atmosphere. What do I mean when I say atmosphere?

Well, if you take a look outside on a nice clear day with a blue sky overhead and then look down where the sky meets the land you’ll notice the color getting lighter and lighter as the sky approaches the horizon line – this is the atmosphere.

There’s no real trick to painting clouds like this – just remember to keep your pen pressure light and then build them up bit by bit on top of each other to get the full effect.

paint a pin up girl photoshop water details

Detailing the Water

Add a little shadow to the water as it’s rolling up over the surface of the sand, and then add in some lighter strokes a little further back to indicate a little more variation in the water’s surface as it catches the light.

Finally for this tutorial on how to paint pin up style, add in a little bit more color variation to the darker area of the water at the horizon line to give a greater sense of depth to the scene.

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