So you’re on the hunt for something new, something fun that you can take on as a hobby. Underwater painting is the perfect option when you’re looking for a unique activity. Movement underwater isn’t easy, to begin with, and add painting on top of that, and it’s an activity that takes a lot out of a person. Whether you’re looking for something to do alone or with friends, this is the perfect way to spend time productively.
But a fair word of warning: underwater painting is not something you can master without knowing anything about it. Proper preparation and tools are essential so you can make your underwater paintings a success, both underwater and above. Learn all about it before you get started.
Supplies and Gear Matter
There are many challenges that painting underwater brings, and one of them is finding the right supplies. Not all paints and tools work in water, and you might find that your paint starts dissolving in water before you even get started. You will need to invest in waterproof paints, paintbrushes, and surfaces. You can’t put normal paper or other soluble painting surfaces underwater, and it might be helpful to research different types of waterproof surfaces before you get started.
But it’s not just painting supplies you should be concerned about. Swimming apparel is just as important as art supplies, and you need to invest in swimming gear that feels comfortable and durable. You will also need swimming goggles that provide clear vision even when you’re underwater. Be mindful of the water pressure, and buy tools that can withstand the pressure to not waste resources or money!
Practice Your Breathwork Beforehand
This might seem like a no-brainer, but you can’t hold your breath forever and will need to come up for air. But that doesn’t mean you can’t extend your time underwater as much as possible. Practicing your endurance by doing activities like cycling and interval training can help improve your lung capacity. You can also practice breathwork by swimming consistently before you start with underwater painting.
Plan Your Art
While the physical act of painting might start once you’re fully submerged, it doesn’t hurt to visualize what you’re planning on painting. You have limited time underwater, and to make the most of it, planning your art beforehand is crucial. There are many factors at play when you’re painting underwater, and that includes lighting, perspective, colors available, and more.
If you’re lost on what to paint once you’re underwater, it never hurts to find inspiration elsewhere. You can search for artists who paint underwater to see what’s possible and what isn’t. If you don’t paint or do any other type of art, it might be hard to replicate what these artists do, but it’s a good starting point to get inspired on your own.
Be Mindful of Proportions
Your perception of space, light, and distance are all distorted once you go underwater. While this might not affect much, it can make your painting turn out much more different than expected. If your aim is to paint a realistic painting, it might be helpful to understand how your proportions will be affected by the water.
Use Natural Lighting
You have to make the most of what’s around you when you’re underwater, and that includes the natural light filtering through the water. If you go in too deep, chances are that you won’t be able to find as much lighting available to see your painting. Place yourself in a position underwater where you can make the most of the light and lack thereof.
Ideally, your canvas should have an ideal combination of light and shadow. If you don’t have that, try finding a position underwater where both are easily visible. You might have to experiment with several angles and positions before you find the right blend of natural lighting to use for your masterpiece.
Consider The Water Movement
Depending on whether you’re painting underwater in a swimming pool or in a natural waterbody, the water movement can differ. A swimming pool may have stimulated movements that you can predict, but that’s definitely not the case if you’re underwater in the sea or a river. If you can anticipate the water movement, it can help a lot when you actually start painting.
Adapt your brushstrokes and technique after you notice how the water movement is changing the way you paint. You might find that added pressure when the water is moving makes it more difficult for you to control your movement. Understand what the water movement is doing to your painting style before you start making changes.
Embrace the Imperfections
You’re not going to become a maestro of underwater painting, and your first few paintings might not turn out how you were expecting them to at all. It’s important to embrace the imperfections that your underwater paintings may have because that’s what makes them special. Practice makes perfect, and consistency is crucial to achieving your vision.
Whether it’s soccer, motorsports, or underwater painting, all require consistent effort and dedication when you want to excel at it. Don’t give up on your first try, and keep trying until you get the results you want!