July 25, 2013

Painting Reflective Water

Shuswap Relections, oil on canvas 8X10"

It has been hot here in the Shuswap, so I thought I would send you this study of reflective water on the lake.  In the heat, I seek out a shady place,  often close to the water as there is naturally cooler and more comfortable.  I'm not one that seeks to suffer for art's sake!

A few things to keep in mind when tackling this subject matter:

1.  Reflections are generally darker than the forms being reflected

2.  Edges are soft in reflections

3.  Forms are simplified in reflections

4.  Pay attention to how "long" the reflections are - this can change depending on the surface of the water being either still or broken.  In the painting above, reflections are very close in proportion to the trees being reflected.  Measure, measure, measure.

I would also like to offer this piece of advice:


As soon as you have decided on placement of your major masses. which I generally suggest with a few quick lines drawn in with a paint brush,  block in the colors, tones and shapes of the reflective water.  All it takes is a small breeze, and that reflective surface is totally altered, so get it in as quickly as you can.

I wish you a quiet day beside a cool lake painting with a good friend.  Their are few things more pleasant on a hot summer day.

Happy Painting!


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