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Marine Art - Resources for Artists


An introduction to marine art

This lens provides information and advice from various websites for artists wanting to understand and draw and paint marine subjects, seascapes and waterscapes.

Topics covered include:

- definitions and categories of 'marine art';

- links to museums, art galleries and exhibitions of marine paintings;

- links to marine art societies

- books about the history of marine art and how to paint marine art;

- links to tips and techniques for drawing and painting marine subjects and

- leading marine artists - past and present

New links are being added added on a regular basis.

Image: Low Tide at Tanah Lot, Bali by Katherine Tyrrell, (Pastel 19.5" x 25.5")

copyright - all rights reserved

What is marine art? - About marine, nautical and maritime art

Marine art is an art genre which was particularly popular from the 17th to 19th centuries - but is still very popular today - particularly in relation to marine communities. It's also called Maritime Art or Nautical Art.

It covers any form of figurative art (ie painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture) that portrays or draws its main inspiration from the sea and or ships and involves marine and/or tidal waters.

The maritime theme can include the sea itself, the coast and seaside, ships and sailing craft, beaches and wildlife, portraits and people, history, or anything else that goes with the sea.

Ships and boats can be naval, commercial or for leisure; use sail or steam and be historical or present day.

Marine means.....

Chambers definition of 'marine'



1 belonging to or concerned with the sea eg. marine landscape.

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2 inhabiting, found in or obtained from the sea eg. marine mammal.

3 belonging or relating to ships, shipping trade or the navy marine insurance eg. marine architect.

4 done or used at sea eg. marine compass.

See also maritime.

noun 1 (often Marine)

a a soldier trained to serve on land or at sea;

b a member of the Royal Marines or the US Marine Corps.

2 the merchant or naval ships of a nation collectively. tell that or it to the marines colloq an expression of disbelief and ridicule.

ETYMOLOGY: 15c: from Latin marinus, from mare sea.

Maritime means......

Chambers definition of 'maritime'



1 belonging or relating to the sea or ships, sea-trade, etc eg maritime communications. See also marine adj.

2 said of plants, etc: living or growing near the sea.

3 said of a climate: having relatively small temperature differences between summer and winter.

4 said of a country, etc: having a sea-coast.

5 said of a country, etc: having a navy and sea-trade eg a maritime nation.

ETYMOLOGY: 16c: from Latin maritimus of the sea, from mare sea.

Nautical means.....

Chambers definition of 'nautical'


adjective (abbreviation naut.) relating to ships, sailors or navigation. nautically adverb.

ETYMOLOGY: 17c: from Greek nautikos, from nautes sailor.

Marine Art History

Marine Art & Seascapes in Art Galleries and Museums

Leading art galleries and museums in the UK and USA have significant collections of traditional marine art

Notable Marine Artists in History

These include the famous painters from the golden age of maritime art

  • Biographies A-Z
    National Maritime Museum - biographies of maritime artists
  • A Historical Overview of Marine artists
    A Historical Overview by J Russell JinishianMr Jinishian was director of Mystic Maritime Gallery, America's largest gallery specialising in marine art, from 1985 to 1995. He now operates a private gallery and lectures widely on marine art. This is an
  • Biography of Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom
    National Maritime Museum - Biography of Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom (1566-1640)Dutch marine painter. The founder of Dutch marine painting, Vroom introduced the marine subject to western European painting as an independent genre.
  • Biography of Simon de Vlieger
    Biography of Simon de Vlieger (circa 1600-1653)Dutch artist whose reputation rests mainly with marine paintings. In his marine paintings, the imaginary views of beaches and ships in a calm, depicted in monochrome tones in the manner of Jan Porcellis,
  • Biography of Willem van de Velde, the Elder
    Biography of Willem van de Velde, the Elder (1611-93)Dutch marine painter and draughtsman. Born in Leiden, he was active in Amsterdam and from 1672/73 in London, where he later died. The son of a seaman, he gained his raw material through direct obse
  • Biography of Willem van de Velde, the Younger
    Biography of Willem van de Velde, the Younger (1633-1707)One of the best-known and most influential Dutch marine painters, active in England from 1672/73. He was born in Leiden to a family of artists; his father Willem van de Velde the Elder was a ma
  • Biography of Charles Brooking
    Biography of Charles Brooking (1723-59)English painter, born in London. Brooking was probably self-taught but was none the less the finest English marine artist of the mid-century.
  • Biography of Dominic Serres, the Elder
    Serres recorded the naval events of the Seven Years War (1756-63) - most notably the capture of Havana in 1762, in a series of 10 paintings in the National Maritime Museum, London - and of the American War of Independence (1776-83), working for a pre
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art - Special Exhibitions: Thomas Eakins
    Esteemed for his powers of characterization and mastery of technique, Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) is recognized as one of America's foremost painters, a master draftsman and watercolorist
  • Art and Sea
    The new interactive marine artists dictionnary, with biographies, pictures and links. Plenty more info, blog, forum, classified

Contemporary Marine Art

Societies for Marine Artists

There are art societies for artists involved in marine art all over the world. While not exclusively male this does seem to be an art genre which is dominated by male artists

  • The Royal Society of Marine Artists
    The Society was founded in 1939 and is widely recognised for being the focal point for much of Britain's finest marine art. The RSMA currently has an active membership numbering 51.The Society's common theme is the sea, and Members work is as wide an
  • American Society of Marine Artists
    The American Society of Marine Artists was founded in 1978 as a non-profit, tax exempt organization, whose objective is to recognize and promote marine art and history, and to encourage cooperation among artists, historians, marine enthusiasts and ot
  • Australian Society of Marine Artists
    Australian Society of Marine Artists promoting maritime art in Australia. Membership is open to Australian citizens and residents of Australia. For artists, entry to Membership is by selection only.
  • Canadian Society of Marine Artists
    The Canadian Society of Marine Artists is a not-for-profit non-profit administered by the Archives and Collections Society and is dedicated to Canadian maritime art promotion, conservation, exhibition and education
  • International Society of Marine Painters.
    ISMP's purpose is to unite artists in fellowship and to combine their efforts in the advancement of marine and maritime art.
  • The Wapping Group of Artists - Home Page
    The Wapping Group was formally founded in1946 and initially met to record the busy life of London's dockland. This companionable band of just 25 dedicated and capable painters maintains the original Group aims of fellowship and enthusiastic recording
  • International Society of Marine Painters.
    ISMP's purpose is to unite artists in fellowship and to combine their efforts in the advancement of marine and maritime art.

Marine Art Society Exhibitions

Links to articles and blog posts about exhibitions of marine art and exhibition reviews. These include images from the exhibitions

Contemporary exhibitions of art relating to the sea and coast

Notable Marine Artists - UK

Leading Maritime Artists in the UK

  • The Royal Society of Marine Artists - Members Gallery
    This page illustrates work by Members of the RSMA and illustrates the wide variety of subjects painted that nevertheless relate to the sea. To see any individual image enlarged, just click on the picture.
  • Marine Art Geoff Hunt
    Marine Art by Geoff Hunt President R.S.M.A., painter of the covers of the Patrick O'Brian books.
  • Paul Banning RI RSMA AROI
    Paul Banning RI RSMA AROIMarine Paintings in watercolour and oil
  • David Curtis ROI, RSMA
    David Curtis - Member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and the Royal Society of Marine Artists. Oil Paintings and Watercolour paintings.
  • Robert Lloyd Marine Artist
    Robert Lloyd is a Marine Artist with a worldwide reputation for producing visually stunning and technically accurate paintings for the Marine Industry, Private Individuals and Museum collections.
  • Bert Wright PPRSMA FRSA Marine Artist
    Bert Wright PPRSMA FRSA is Past President of the Royal Society of Marine Artists, President of the prestigious London Wapping Group, President of the Ealing Art Group and a member of the Chelsea Art Society.
  • Sheila Macleod Robertson RSMA
    Sheila Macleod Robertson RSMA, artist in oil by knife, of Scottish and Cornish marine landscapes.
  • David Curtis ROI RSMA
    David Curtis - Member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and the Royal Society of Marine Artists. Oil Paintings and Watercolour paintings. Artist and author of a number of art instruction books and DVDs
  • Seascape paintings by James Bartholomew RSMA
    Seascape paintings by James Bartholomew RSMA.The sea and British coastline have been my main source of inspiration for many years now with bodies of work from Cornwall, Pembrokeshire, Western Scotland, the Western Isles and St Kilda.
  • Keith Noble RSMA
    Keith Noble RSMA - artworks past and present; news of forthcoming events or galleries he will be participating in, including the RSMA, Royal Society of Marine Artists held at the Mall Galleries in London

BOOKS: British Marine Art

Notable Marine Artists - USA

  • Donald Demers FSMA - J. Russell Jinishian Gallery, Inc.
    Donald Demers is a "fellow" of the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA), a member of the Guild of Boston Artists, and has won a record 15 awards at the Mystic International Marine Art Exhibition, Mystic, CT since 1982. His marine paintings have
  • Michel Brosseau - Eisenhauer Gallery of Edgartown, MA
    Recently published in American Art Collector magazine Michel Brosseau's work is dedicated to easel paintings on sea-side themes, in which he lays a graphic and contemporary look, taking the subject out of anecdote and simple representation. He is a F

BOOKS: American Marine Art - books on Amazon

Notable Marine Artists - Australia

Marine Art Blogs

Blogs by marine artists and galleries focusing on marine art

  • Landscape and Marine Painting Blog
    All artwork Alistair Butt ARSMA
  • Sarah Wimperis - The Red Shoes
    Sarah Wimperis paints the Cornish coastline, rivers and boatyards. She's a gallery artist with the Beside the Wave Gallery in Falmouth
  • Beside The Wave - the Gallery blog
    This is the Blog of Beside The Wave, Cornwall's leading gallery specialising in contemporary landscape art. Here you can find out about the gallery artists and their art and what goes on behind the scenes of one of Cornwall's most established galleri
  • The Cycling Artist - In the studio, on the shore
    I'm an American London-based artist painting the English seaside from an ongoing cycle journey around the coast.
  • Marine Art Gallery
    a blog about marine art and maritime artists
  • Marine Oil Paintings
    This blog is intended as a reference resource for seascape painters (particularly those working in oils) and for art lovers. It's a mix of nautical/maritime art, seascapes and coastal scenes, both old and new.

Maritime art dealers

Marine Art Auctions

Painting Traditional Ships

Nautical Art and the Tall Ships - painting traditional ships

BOOKS: The Tall Ships - books from Amazon

How to Paint Water and Boats

Links to information and advice for those wanting to learn more about how to paint marine art - including water, ships and boats

BOOKS: How to paint water

BOOKS: How to paint marine scenes

Information for marine artists

References sites for those interested in information about maritime art and the people associated with it

Pastels and Pencils - Waterscape Paintings by Katherine Tyrrell - Original fine art drawings of views of water by Katherine Tyrrell in soft pastels and coloured


Tanah Lot, Bali (Pastel 19.5" x 25.5")

Pastels and Pencils - Waterscape Paintings by Katherine Tyrrell

Feedback - comments about links, compliments about the site or suggestions for how you think it could be improved are always welcome

ANYBODY can comment BUT please note that all comments are moderated before publication; all html is stripped out of comments and spam is not published.

Comments and Suggestions - Let me know what you think

Katherine Tyrrell (author) from London on January 08, 2013:

@anonymous: Thanks for the noteThis is Jeff's website

anonymous on January 08, 2013:

I am saddened to announce the passing of one of the finest marine artists in the world. The ship came in for Jeff Eldredge of Middleboro Mass. during the Christmas holidays.His ancestors journyed here on the Mayflower. He spent his life involved in every phase of the nautical world and he created an abundace of wonderful paintings. Truly a native son.

Katherine Tyrrell (author) from London on August 15, 2012:

@Lady Lorelei: It would indeed! Mermaids are always welcome as are sailors! ;)

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on August 15, 2012:

I guess then that this would be the perfect art form for a mermaid to enjoy.

anonymous on May 12, 2012:

Here's a link for you...a new maritime art school in the beautiful seaport of Port Townsend, Washington. We build customized art and tour packages for individuals and groups, as well as offer classes with local and visiting artists.

Katherine Tyrrell (author) from London on April 23, 2012:

@anonymous: Thanks - I've not come across that site before

Close2Art LM on September 19, 2011:

I love the colors and texture in the Tyrell seascape pastel above, great lens also, so much information. Thanks so much for sharing the knowledge...:)rjwr

Missmerfaery444 on March 11, 2011:

Wonderfully comprehensive selection of marine art! Sea paintings are among my favourite when it comes to art (especially Cornish seascapes) and you have links to some great sites here. Loved looking through James Bartholomew and Sheila Macleod's work.

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