Frederick Judd Waugh (1861 – 1940) was a leading American artist known for his beautiful seascape paintings. He was the son of painter Samuel Waugh and studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Interestingly, he was a camouflage artist for the U.S. Navy during World War I.
His seascape paintings are incredibly realistic, without being overly refined. The paintings have a very natural feel to them. This is always one of my goals for painting – to have an element of realism whilst retaining a painterly feel.
Waugh demonstrates what is possible when you really specialize in a genre. Whilst I think it is great to try new things and paint a variety of subjects, there are some aspects of painting which are only unlocked once you have really advanced into a certain genre.
In the two paintings below, I love the bright light in the sky which is contrasted against the gray clouds. Whilst we cannot paint light itself, it seems Waugh was able to come pretty close in many of his paintings.
Waugh obviously had a vast understanding of how water and waves work. You can almost feel the flow of water through his paintings. Seascape paintings are not easy to paint, especially when crashing waves and complex arrangements of cliffs and rocks are involved.
It can be difficult to paint seascapes realistically, without getting incredibly tight and refined. If you are not careful with seascapes, you could end up spending hours trying to paint every bit of foam which is snaking on top of the water with a fine liner brush.
Anyway, enjoy the rest of the paintings. You should be in for a treat if you were not aware of Frederick Waugh.
I hope you enjoyed these paintings. My favorite is “Breaking Waves” at the top of the post. What is your favorite? Let me know in the comments.
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