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ArtWench
05-13-2003, 08:44 PM
Okay, call me crazy... I decided to paint a penguin for a friend's birthday and am producing the majority of it out of my head (ie. no reference photos!). The problem has come in with portraying the water and though I have searched high & low, I haven't found an article to help me in this endeavor.

I want the water to be mildly choppy (I'm going for Antartica here) and am wondering how to approach this... I know my colors should become less intense as they approach the horizon; but, I can't remember if they are supposed to get darker or lighter.

Also, I would like to emphazise the idea of the cold...

Anyone have some basic tips or pointers on painting water (not ocean with waves) or know any articles which I could get my hands on?

Thanks!:D

matingara
05-13-2003, 10:23 PM
I would HIGHLY recommend the book "How to Make a Watercolor Paint Itself" by Nita Engle as a reference in creating water effects.

She IS the master and the book is unbelievable.

:)

Joel.

ArtWench
05-13-2003, 11:27 PM
Thanks Joel! I will see if I can locate it!

matingara
05-13-2003, 11:45 PM
Amazon Page with the Book on it........ (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0823057089/qid=1052883733/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_1/102-0386966-8104958?v=glance&s=books&n=507846)

Meant to attach this before.......

baba
05-14-2003, 01:58 AM
If you don't want ocean with waves, what do you have in mind? The one thing I know is that the sea gets darker towards the horizon, not lighter. To indicate cold, I would stay away from the blue-green carribean look and use more straight blue and white/grey.

Nandie
05-14-2003, 02:12 AM
Hi Cathexis....

I have Nita Engle's book and while it is excellent for learning how to paint water, it's mostly waves and sea spray that's taught. Do get it if you want to learn some neat techniques for painting almost anything, especially in an impressionistic manner!

And I hate to disagree with Baba, but I believe that water gets lighter at the horizon, not darker. The reason is because water reflects what's around it.... mountains, shoreline, and sky. The sky is generally lighter at the horizon so where sky meets water is usually light. I used that principle in these two paintings:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-May-2003/14007-seascape2.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-May-2003/14007-snowscape2.jpg

See how on each one the water is almost a mirror image of the sky. If you are doing a cold snowy scene I would use Baba's suggestion and go for more blue/white/grey and not use green. Hope that helps!

baba
05-14-2003, 02:39 AM
This is of course exactly what you don't want, so it's just to get a little banter with Nandie going...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-May-2003/9701-sea.jpg

but maybe everything depends on the light source.

ArtWench
05-14-2003, 08:58 AM
LOL! Oh dear! Now I really am in a quandry! To lighten toward the horizon or darken..... Whether 'tis nobler...Oops! Wrong soliloquy.

Well, let's see how this argument plays out! Meanwhile, I guess I better go scout out some reference images! LOL! The binds you get it when you cut corners... Geesh!

Thank you for the link, Joel! I'm going to try my local library first before ordering it. My husband has been most patient with my recent watercolor expenditures (he prefers my graphite work); however, we had to put in a new air conditioner/heating unit (ouch!) and need to cut down on our expenditures for awhile! :rolleyes:

matingara
05-14-2003, 09:36 AM
What fun! Dearest Nandie, you have Nita Engle's book and you just pass it off as a bunch of sea spray and waves?

My goodness, I am (almost) dumbstruck. There is water in that book from beginning to end - waves, still water and everything in between. Not to mention her discussions on luminescence. It is the most inspirational book I have ever seen on watercolor (tied for first with the Mel Stabin Book).

I order you to immediately cease everything you are doing at the moment and reread this book.

When you have finished you may report back to me.......

Explanations to be submitted in triplicate.

:)

Joel.

bluesrbest
05-14-2003, 10:02 AM
I have always been taught to lighten the water, the farther away it is from the viewer = because it picks up more of the sky color. Then, seeing that pic - and I have dozens like it myself, I am confused, too! Do you think it matters whether it's blue-green carribean water or cool icy water? However, Nandie, your 2nd ptg is a great example of that cool, icy look to water.

Joel - you've made me think I need to reread Nita's book, too - will get it right now! Hope I don't have to report in triplicate, though :)
______
Rhonda
:cat:

madmum
05-14-2003, 10:19 AM
Have a look through the photographs on this link - all copyright free :D I searched for ice and sea. Hope it helps!

http://gimp-savvy.com/cgi-bin/keysearch.cgi?words=Ice+%2B+sea

Ruth

rks
05-14-2003, 10:32 AM
I agree with Andrea. I was taught lighter at the horizon and darker in the foreground. Isn't that the standard rule in painting, i.e. objects further away are lighter than objects in the foreground? I'm not aware of an exception to this rule for water.
If you are handy to a library, National Georgraphics would have reference photos of Antartica for you.

Roberta

madmum
05-14-2003, 10:39 AM
Another search, this time for penguin:

http://gimp-savvy.com/cgi-bin/keysearch.cgi?words=penguin&1

Something I noticed on most of the icy photos is that the horizon merges with the sky. Also the overall impression is blue, blue and blue lol.

Ruth

ArtWench
05-14-2003, 10:54 AM
Roberta... Thanks for the idea! Hadn't thought about them before!

Ruth.... You are AWESOME! You found some fabulous reference photos! And yes.... LOTS of blue! LOL!

Nandie
05-14-2003, 11:29 AM
Originally posted by baba
This is of course exactly what you don't want, so it's just to get a little banter with Nandie going...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-May-2003/9701-sea.jpg

but maybe everything depends on the light source.

LOL!!! **scampers off to go find some photos to support precarious position**:D

Nandie
05-14-2003, 11:33 AM
Originally posted by matingara
What fun! Dearest Nandie, you have Nita Engle's book and you just pass it off as a bunch of sea spray and waves?

My goodness, I am (almost) dumbstruck. There is water in that book from beginning to end - waves, still water and everything in between. Not to mention her discussions on luminescence. It is the most inspirational book I have ever seen on watercolor (tied for first with the Mel Stabin Book).

I order you to immediately cease everything you are doing at the moment and reread this book.

When you have finished you may report back to me.......

Explanations to be submitted in triplicate.

:)

Joel.

Ohboy I stuck my foot in it didn't I?!?!:o :o

Actually Joel, I love this book.... didn't mean to sound critical at all about it..... I just didn't think it had exactly what our questioner was after, that's all. I do highly reccomend Nita's book, and I have scoured it 3 times since I got it last week!!!:D :D Now I gotta go find me a squirt bottle or two (we have no art stores here so I have to wait until I get to OPUS in Vancouver) so I can try her techniques!!!

Nandie
05-14-2003, 12:43 PM
Okay, I went to the ril and found pictures that both support and DON'T support my position!!! LOL!!

Here's one that does support my position:
Ocean pic (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=2636&papass=&sort=1)

But you'll find just as many that support Baba's opinion!! My best guess is that like Baba said, it depends on the light conditions. The ones (and there are many) that show dark water at the horizon also seem to have atmospheric clouds or haze at the horizon too, so maybe that's why. The ones that have light water at the horizon have pretty strong sunshine there too.

So, I'm willing to eat one-half of a humble pie..... and still wondering if Matingara (Joel) has forgiven me for my other transgression....:o :D

bswilson1147
05-14-2003, 03:23 PM
Check out this website for detailed instructions:

http://www.mauigateway.com/~donjusko/waves.htm

MartinH
05-14-2003, 05:50 PM
I believe Nandie and Baba are both right. Whether water gets darker or lighter towards the horizon seems to rely on the light conditions, the light from the sky and the transparency and own color of water itself. If you look against a bright horizon, the water towards it will reflect more of the light, and therefore be brighter. In Baba's example, the light is coming from behind the viewer. In addition, here the water is highly transparent, and the light reflected from the sand underneath makes the shallow water shine brighter. Similarly, sometimes you can see a shore wave (breaker) with bright light coming through its transparency.

It is MHO, so let me know if you agree :).

Martin.


P.S. Back in Europe (I am currently in the US) I have a great book "Marine painting in oil", by John Robinson. It is out of print, but I found another book by him at Amazon, and the cover painting illustrates this point:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1929834047/ref=lib_dp_TFCV/002-9121609-7883258?v=glance&s=books&vi=reader#reader-link

I must say, however, his oil instruction is hard to translate into watercolor...

ArtWench
05-14-2003, 10:53 PM
Gee! Thank you all for your terrific help! It makes me feel a little better about not knowing the "rule" when the rule is in constant flux! lol!

Ruth...The images you found are wonderful and I have found several which will be of help to my project.

BettyBoop.... That link was quite informative. Thank you!

Martin.... Ah! Thank you for bringing sanity back into this thread! Robinson's book cover is beautiful.

Joel.... You will be happy to know I succumbed to temptation and purchased the Engle book! Oh well.... We can eat beans & weenies for a few weeks! LOL!

ArtWench
05-20-2003, 12:47 AM
Originally posted by matingara
I would HIGHLY recommend the book "How to Make a Watercolor Paint Itself" by Nita Engle as a reference in creating water effects.

She IS the master and the book is unbelievable.

:)

Joel.

Joel.... Got the book today and am so excited! It is wonderful! Thanks for pointing me in this direction!

Kate Mc
05-20-2003, 01:44 PM
Another search, this time for penguin:

http://gimp-savvy.com/cgi-bin/keyse...words=penguin&1




Based on this, you don't need to paint water, you need to paint SNOW!! Great link, Ruth.


Kate