Adding an Ocean-Side View with a Mural in Cape Cod Home

Bob and Marylou’s house in West Barnstable, MA is just a few miles from Sandy Neck beach, but it still requires a drive to enjoy a view of the ocean.  Or at least it used to!


My challenge was to transition a 7’ x 8’ wall of Bob and Marylou’s kitchen into an ocean-scape (below is the "before" picture). To do this right, I started with a trip to the beach with my camera.  The key here is that I wanted to make sure my mural not only captured the beauty of the ocean, but that it also looked specifically like the view at Sandy Neck beach. 


With pictures in hand, my next challenge was to choose the right colors.  One of the things I love about painting the ocean is the colors you see under the surface of the water, and how these colors change with distance and with waves.  Below is a shot of the “under-painting” that shows these colors. A couple of days after this stage was done, Marylou shared that she and Bob went to the ocean the night before (which is a nightly ritual of theirs) and the colors were identical to the ones in my painting!



The next step was to paint the surface of the water – which is really just a reflection of the sky in the pattern of the waves and ripples.  For this part, I chose to use my airbrush, which nicely handles the soft quality of the reflected light while still letting some of the under-color show through. 


To add a Sandy Neck finishing touch, I chose to show detailed rocks in the foreground.  For anyone who has not been to Sandy Neck beach – the name is misleading as it is a particularly rocky beach!



Now that the mural is complete, Bob is looking for a perfect recording of the sounds of the ocean, with plans of setting up chairs in their kitchen in front of their new ocean view when bad weather gets in the way of their nightly beach trip!