Reflections of Alison PaigePosted: June 29, 2017
I had a great time painting reflections in Gloucester last week, and one of these days I will do a step-by-step post about it. In the meantime, I will describe my process.
I start by painting the lightest colour of the water, with is usually similar to the sky but just a touch darker. This can sometimes be done in one pass, sky straight down to water, darkening as you go. When that is completely dry, I take a good look at the objects that are reflected in the water and try to simplify the shapes of the reflections. If you can do most of the darker reflections in one pass they will look fresher. This means that you have to mix up a lot of wash (double what you think you will need) so that the wet brush does not go dry. And make sure the brush has a good point on it so you can get those sharp shapes to indicate the ripples in the water.
Don’t paint every ripple. A few will do the job. For darker boat hulls — like the one on Alison Paige — I paint the boat and the reflection at the same time. Take a closer look at the boat if you can. You’ll see what I mean. While the wash was still damp, I added in the darker line that indicates the water line where hull meets water. Also look at the edges of the reflected objects. For example, I noticed that the reflected building had a dark edge so I added in a few darker strokes near the bottom of the sheet.
Also make sure that reflections of masts line up with the masts themselves. And don’t fuss over reflections. Put them down simply and leave them alone.
Painted on Arches 140 lb CP, 22″ x 15″.