I distinctly remember the first time I attempted to paint water. Water? You know, the stuff that looks blue, or green, or grey but is really clear?
Fourteen years ago I was painted a picture of Echo Chalet for my dad. My first attempt at the sky and water was, well, not quite right.
“The sky looks like water and the water looks like, um, I dunno, but not water,” was the honest critique I can always count on from BBH.
I kept working at it and after quite a few days came up with this –
That was 14 years ago. I could still be working on this, if I look at it too long.
My next attempt at painting water was a mountain stream.
Definitely not blue!
After all these years, I’ve finally reached the point where I don’t spend a full week, or day, on water. It’s usually in the background, so I just quickly get it on there.
Plaid’s Floating Medium makes painting water a whole lot easier, especially if you’re not used to blending paint colors. You can either apply the medium to the paper or canvas first, then add paint. Or you can load your brush with Floating Medium, then pick up some paint.
I’ve done both, with the same end result. You might try each way and see what works for you.
After I coated a small portion with Floating Medium, I stroked on Hydrangea.
Then I added some Winter White. The Floating Medium keeps both paint colors wet, so you have ample time to blend them together.
Just simple horizontal strokes, back and forth.
I knew I wanted some ‘ripples’ in this painting because of the egret and the tules. Just some Hydrangea half-circle squiggles.
There. Not too bad.
I have to keep reminding myself that this is just a rendering, not the actual mural!
But I’d rather work out all the ‘bugs’ on a sample, rather than in someone’s home!
Once you start painting, you start to look at things differently – even stuff you’ve looked at all your life. All of a sudden, trees are a wide variety of greens. Water is no longer just blue.
What’s your favorite water scene? Some place you’ve visited? Or would like to visit? What ‘color’ is the water, hm?