Reflections of Alison Paige

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″.


23 Comments on “Reflections of Alison Paige”

  1. in says:

    Love those beige tones. I don’t know why, but your art work reminds me of the Nancy Drew book ilustrations. Anyone ever tell ya that, Shari? Beautiful work you do.


  2. blissfullycreating says:

    this is stunning!


  3. Bernadette says:

    The painting is elegant, simply stated with fresh washes, never overworked. In such a complex scene it is difficult for me to “see” simple shapes. It is so easy to get a complicated over painted page of colors. The time you spend is well spent! Thanks as always for sharing with us. I appreciate it.


  4. gaelle1947 says:

    Stunning vibrancy! One can feel that boat gently rocking. Thank you for sharing your process. I’ve been planning to visit a few nearby marinas and now can’t wait to try out your great advice!


  5. andre savard. says:

    Your marine scenes are getting better and better. Good work.


  6. Sandy says:

    Simply gorgeous.


  7. Jodi says:

    You are so amazingly talented! Please do more videos!! 🙂


  8. Beautiful! I love your advice: don’t fuss over the reflections…easier said than done. lol


  9. Awesome – I looked quickly and thought it was a photo ! 🙂


  10. Dee Ludwg says:

    All instruction appreciated!


  11. As usual, exquisite painting. They’re all so lovely!!! You are amazing.


  12. Jos VanBerkel says:

    Great tips! Thanks so much for offering these. Great for us beginners. And, beautiful work.


  13. Monique says:

    You ARE amazing.


  14. Judy Sopher says:

    Lovely, as usual. Love your boat/water paintings. Your reflections in water are always beautiful.


  15. Wow when I haven’t entered the post to look at this I’m detail, I saw a smaller version and thought it was a photo! Very good job.


  16. Linda Murray says:

    Ditto for what everyone else said. Your paintings are just wonderful! Practice makes perfect- I think of this as I look at your work. The paintings just get better and better!


  17. Thank you for explaining your process and the little observations that go such a long way!


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