Saturday, July 16, 2016

Painting depth in rivers, lakes and oceans

Water features in paintings can be beautiful. If not done properly, a river can look like it is vertical instead of looking deep. Therefore it's important that when painting a water feature that you are able to communicate a visual sense of depth. This is accomplished through your brushstrokes, colors, and composition. We all know that this is important, but the question is, how exactly do you create a painting that does not appear flat and devoid of distance.

Some tips include overlapping various elements within your composition so that some are forced forward or backward in the scene. Try using less detail, texture, and definition when painting objects in the mid-ground and background of the landscape. In principle, you should paint with lighter values and less contrast for distant elements. However when painting a lake, if the water is deeper further out in the painting, the more values are required in the depth. A recommended approach is to use cooler colors to push elements farther into the background and use warmer, darker colors to bring elements forward into the foreground.

Shallow water tends to have lighter colours and is generally warmer in colour while deeper water is generally very deep blackish blue and green. This is caused by the sediment in the water which reflects more light. The value of the blue-green decreases and gets darker as the water gets deeper.

This week's artist find is Ron Adams.
Ron Adams watercolour
Have a great week

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