Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ashepoo River: Painting Reflections in Water

"Ashepoo Tributary" 9x12 inches oil/Contact for pricing 803-336-8477
Happy New Year Everyone !!

The Ashepoo is a river in the lower part of the state with fresh waters turning brackish as it nears the coast. Along the way there are many interesting scenes because of its many tributaries. In this painting I have tried to capture some of the charm of this geographic area of South Carolina where woodland turns into low country marsh. This painting is still wet and unframed, but should be dry by January 7th.

Not that I am an expert in painting reflections, but I often hear other artists commenting on how much they want to avoid painting reflections in water. Here are a couple pointers that I can offer on painting reflections in water, especially when working with a pallet knife. Trick # 1: remember to retain a good amount of the same color that was used in the sky. Whatever the major color of your sky, you'll need to repeat that in the water. Trick # 2: If you want to paint good reflections of trees or grass from alongside the waterline, use the edge of your pallet knife to pull some of that grass or tree color directly down into the water, wiggling and easing-up on your pressure as you move downward. This takes some getting used to, so if you're not experienced in reflections you'll want to practice a little.

Lastly when you've repeated enough of that foliage color in your water, go back and scrape or paint a very fine white line along the edge of the water, not everywhere, but used sparingly it will help to define the marcation between land and water. Another thing to remember is that not all water is perfectly still. So by using wiggly hand movement and discontinuing your stroke as you pull down, you can suggest less tranquil waters. The more quiet the water you attempt to portray, the more mirror-like and perfect your reflection image will be. Also, distant reflections are more blurry or more faded, and closer reflections are crisper and carry more detail.

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