View Full Version : Advice needed

Margaret 59
03-30-2015, 10:51 PM
I'm trying to paint a landscape with dark water and reflections. I've tried burnt umber and Paynes grey for the lake but am getting nowhere. Can anybody tell me what colours to use for the water?

03-31-2015, 11:55 AM
Are you using a reference? When I paint anything, I study the colours I see. The colours in water can really vary depending on the scene. And in most cases, water takes some time and layers to get right.

03-31-2015, 12:00 PM
In many instances, the water is a reflection of the sky. So, start with a maybe a umber and prussian blue and then build your colors from there.

If you google sky and water photos, you will see how effective the sky reflection works in many cases.

Charlie's Mum
03-31-2015, 12:13 PM
Ditto to both comments above:)

Or, show us your ref and we'll try ...... :)

Margaret 59
03-31-2015, 06:29 PM
It's a dull day on the ref. of a loch in Scotland and the reflections are only trees on dark water and a bit of blue grey from the sky further along. I 'm hopeless at getting photos out of my file and onto WC so I'll use Howard's suggestion and play with the lighter blues and umber so thanks Howard, Lavender and Maureen.

11-14-2015, 09:00 PM
also depend on the water if it is clear or dirty. A round where I live the water is very muddy but it still have the sky colors in it. I seen clear water and it do look differ that the water where i live . make me wonder how the fish see in the water.:lol: :lol:

11-14-2015, 11:51 PM
Also if the water is clear and in the shade you might actually be seeing the bottom. More likely on shallower water.

Charlie's Mum
11-15-2015, 06:21 AM
Margaret - it's 8 months down the line, did you finish this?:)

11-15-2015, 09:27 AM
I use washy layers of a variety of colors. This builds up a complex subtlety to the water. Water is rarely portrayed as a solid color and Umber and Grey are far too dark for any water surface. At least for anything but shadows.

11-15-2015, 12:47 PM
Try umber and naples yellow

Margaret 59
11-15-2015, 08:05 PM
Yes Maureen, I finished and sent it to an elderly uncle in Ireland who was more than delighted with it. Now I can't find the photo that I know I took for posterity.
I left most of the water umber with vague tree reflections and a bit of blue where the light eventually hit it.
Thanks to all who commented, and I'll try to remember your welcome hints.:)

01-20-2017, 01:06 AM
guess you have to ask the uncle to take a photo and sent it back to you:lol:

Margaret 59
01-20-2017, 10:10 PM
Had thought of that Jocko but didn't like to bother him. Having second thoughts now. :)

01-21-2017, 07:06 PM
So many factors dictate what the water will look like. Reference photos are the best way to get a good idea. You can never have too many reference pictures. My late High school art teacher collected reference pictures in loose-leaf notebooks in clear sleeves. By the time he passed away, he had amassed a reference library that easily filled a whole garage. If he had the internet it would have been so much easier.....

01-22-2017, 04:38 PM
I would say what Lavenderfrost said in the first post: Paint the colours in the picture. Paint what you see, not what you think it should look like. Study the picture and use what you have to make yourself a bit of all the colours you see there. Get the shades as close to what you see as you can. Use those paints to paint exactly what you see.

Sometimes I think we artist need lessons in painting what we see, not what we think should be there. Practice by turning your reference photo upside down and just paint what's there in shape, value, colour, shading, contrast, etc without seeing it as something recognizable, to see how close you can get when you are done -but I only paint realism and as realistic as I can get. This wouldn't work as well for other styles.