This week I’ve worked on and completed a new painting for a collector, a sea turtle painting.

sea turtle paint palette

Juicy paint palette for the ocean

I’ve never painted a turtle before, but I was up for the challenge. First, I did a lot of research and found that there are seven different species of sea turtles. I wanted to paint what was most familiar to me and that would be the sea turtles that I remember from a trip to Hawaii and that would be green turtles (I think, hey I’m no expert!).

They get their greenish coloring from their fat under the skin. They are listed as as threatened (likely to become endangered, in danger of extinction, within the foreseeable future) in the U.S.

My experience with them are from a catamaran boat trip while in Hawaii. The water was so clear, you could see these magnificent creatures as we sailed through the water. It was a trip I’ll never forget and hope to return to someday.

Here’s my initial sketch on the canvas (which was a 20″x16″). I have already got the beginning part of the ocean water in place.

Sea Turtle painting sketch with background already painted

With the background finished, I started adding an underpainting layer on the shell (scutes) and scales and scutes.

Sea Turtle painting work in progress

When I’m painting, I have incense burning and good music playing. So I get in the zone and often forget to grab my phone to take a photo. This got a little further along before I knew it, so this last progression has much more done on it.

Sea Turtle painting work in progress

You may notice a difference in the colors of the ocean in this next photo and the one before. These were taken different days and had different lighting, but that’s a cell phone camera for you. The ocean part of the sea turtle painting in real life is actually much more turquoise in color, not so blue. Sometimes, I’ll click auto-tone and that usually is a good thing, but in this case I believe it made it more royal blue looking. Either way, I think the water is pretty.

Sea Turtle painting work in progress

Finally, here’s the finished painting! I added a little bit of sea grasses to ground the turtle. I imagined him swimming along the bottom of the ocean looking for a bite to eat.

Finished Sea Turtle painting shown in artist's studio

This sea turtle painting was a commission, so that means it’s sold. However, I’ll have prints available in my online shop soon. I enjoyed painting him so much I may just paint another one in the future. Perhaps an under-water series will come of it. Who knows. I’ve got so many ideas rolling around in my head and not nearly enough self-motivation.

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paintings by Jaime Haney

Learn more about me on the ‘About’ page in the menu at the top. I’m an artist – a painter mostly and an avid gardener. I paint a variety of subjects including birds, koi fish, my gardens, ponds and flowers as well as anything having to do with nature especially trees and tropical scenes. I also enjoy painting abstracts.

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