Inspiring Seascapes By Frederick Judd Waugh

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Seascape Paintings By Frederick Judd Waugh
Frederick Judd Waugh

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.

Frederick Judd Waugh, Breaking Waves
Frederick Judd Waugh, Breaking Waves
Frederick Judd Waugh, Winds And Seas
Frederick Judd Waugh, Winds And Seas

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. 

Frederick Judd Waugh - At Sunrise
Frederick Judd Waugh - At Sunrise
Frederick Judd Waugh, Seascape
Frederick Judd Waugh, Seascape
Frederick Judd Waugh, Freshening Breeze
Frederick Judd Waugh, Freshening Breeze
Frederick Judd Waugh, Looking West, St. Ives, 1896
Frederick Judd Waugh, Looking West, St. Ives, 1896
Frederick Judd Waugh, East Coast Bailey's Island, Casco Bay, 1909
Frederick Judd Waugh, East Coast Bailey's Island, Casco Bay, 1909
Frederick Judd Waugh, Close Of Day
Frederick Judd Waugh, Close Of Day
Frederick Judd Waugh, Breaking Surf
Frederick Judd Waugh, Breaking Surf
Frederick Judd Waugh, Along The Coast
Frederick Judd Waugh, Along The Coast
Frederick Judd Waugh, Afternoon Glow
Frederick Judd Waugh, Afternoon Glow
Frederick Judd Waugh, A Dawn Flight
Frederick Judd Waugh, A Dawn Flight

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. 

Thanks for Reading!

Feel free to share with friends. If you want more painting tips, check out my fundamentals course.

Happy painting!

Dan Scott

Draw Paint Academy

Read more of my articles. 

Inspiring Seascape Paintings By Frederick Judd Waugh | Seascape Paintings | Painting Ideas | Oil Paintings

46 comments on “Inspiring Seascapes By Frederick Judd Waugh”

  1. Wow – thanks for sharing these. My favorite is Dawn Flight at the end of the post with Breaking Surf a close second. Breaking Waves reminds me of a sea of chocolate.

    Reply
  2. Oooo! I love them all! Water is my favorite thing to paint too but it’s his masterful use of color that really sets these apart!

    Reply
  3. I live along the coast so I paint many beach scenes but “my waters” are calm, a safe place to play. These seascape paintings by Waugh express the powerful psychic pull of one to the ocean, mysteriously both alluring & dangerous. Like a passionate love affair, we are mesmerized by the beauty, enticed to explore unfathomable depths, seeking oneness with source yet terrified by potential loss of self.

    Reply
  4. Such fascinating brushstrokes! “Wind and Seas” is my favorite. His unusual color palette is also surprising.
    I look forward to your posts.

    Reply
  5. I love them all but my favorite is Casco Bay, 1909 because it brings back a memory of a similar site on the west coast, the waves rushing into a narrow between two rock formations then receding back to where they came from.

    Reply
  6. Respected Sir
    Good Afternoon
    Thanks once again for the beautiful treat to my eyes
    i liked the Freshening Breeze cause it beautifully displays the sunlight passing thru the clouds and next in the foreground the shade of the clouds on the river beautifully thought beyond by reach to draw and paint such a marvellous scenic view OMG

    WARM REGARDS
    PRADEEP

    Reply
  7. Thanks, Dan! I love to paint seascapes, but painting rocks on the shoreline or rocky cliffs continue to challenge me. I like ‘Close of Day’ for it’s colors, though actually I really like all of Waugh’s work!
    -Liz

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  8. Hello Dan,
    Wow I have never seen much about Fredrick Waugh. My grandfather had Headlands another Maine seascape. Sadly It was dulled with years of smoking.
    My mom put it up for auction in NYC and even though it was a signed Waugh it was framed but not finished? As per Sotheby’s. They sent it onto a Westchester auction house. To me it looked flat. But I do like his other works but thought that was an interesting fact.

    Reply
  9. Hi Dan, Many thanks for sharing Waugh’s tremendous seascapes with us. Freshening Breeze and Breaking Surf are my favourites, although I love all of them. I have just been planning a textile piece featuring rocks for an exhibition inspired by Four Quartets by TS Eliot to be shown during the Poetry Festival in Ledbury. Freshening Breeze has a beautiful colour scheme, a little similar to the design I have decided upon, what a lovely coincidence!
    Helen Crawford

    Reply
  10. Hi there, what a great piece about Waugh
    I have a small oil signed Waugh
    Knowing very little about art I wondered if anyone can tell me the best way to find out if it’s an original
    It’s of a sailboat at sea but is done on a board rather than a stretch canvas

    Reply
  11. His work is amazing. I see what you mean about breaking waves. His capture of light is breathtaking. His colours in Dawn Flight are so dramatic. I would say that generally, he is very dramatic. His passion for the sea shows through his works.

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  12. These are all beautiful paintings. My new favorite artist. Being in midwest United States I don’t see oceans very often but love them when I do. My favorite is A Dawn Flight. Maybe the rich colors, probably the airplane, but enjoyed them all.

    Reply
  13. Love his pictures and hadn’t heard of him. A great discovery thank you Dan. I try to paint water quite often and find it difficult to know if it is at all successful or rubbish. Will keep trying. As for the rocks, truly beautiful.

    Reply
  14. Wow! Really, Frederick Judd Waugh is a master. Every seascape painting is alive. The waves roll, the rocks break them. I take note of that name. Love It.

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  15. Thanks for sharing Frederick Judd Waugh and all the information I’ve been viewing thus far. Your information has encouraged me to change and develop a new style. Waugh’s work is realistic but has such power and feeling with excellent use of color and light. Its motivating to see his work, I can. actually feel the movement, the serenity, the wetness and the power of the sea. My favorites: At Sunset, Looking West, Along the Coast, Afternoon Glow……and all the others

    Reply
    • Thanks Dan for introducing me to him .. how is name pronounce ?
      to me he is a brilliant painter able to present the sea in its different states .. his brushwork & color manipulation with a limited palette is extraorinaire . I entirely agree with you that ” Breaking waves is my # 1 choice ,then #2 flying dawn.

      Fatma

      Reply

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