Above is a wave in the next stage, it has broken along its entire front and is now spent. The whole boiling mass of foam has been displayed and the wave begins to collapse, or better for or artistic purposes, it runs into a rock or headland. When that happens the foam explodes upwards often with a loud bass roar and spray shooting skyward. I call it, the giant puffball. Below is one of those. It too has its own distinctive anatomy. Lets explore that a little.
The spray in the giant puffball has form like anything else. Part of it is in the light and part is not, it also has within it variations caused by some parts of it catching the light and other parts in the shade, These are often relieved against one another like above. This also gives a look of volume. The spray rebounds from the rocks and its top is often carried away by the wind.
This is front lit and that gives definition to the various clumps or ropey shapes in the burst. Portraying this is always a game of sort edges and slightly harder accents. Below is my late friend Charles Vickery. Vickery used to come into my tiny gallery and sit at my easel. He would do little demo paintings for me. He didn't much explain it as he did it though. I took a workshop with him in the mid eighties. He explained a lot then. I wish I could find my notes from that. I know I have them somewhere.
He did seascapes every day for many , many years and got REALLY good at it. I am proud to have known him. This image is from a dealer who handles his work http://www.charlesvickery.com/gallery/