View Full Version : Bob Rohm's "The Art of Water" DVDs

09-21-2006, 02:37 PM
I received Bob Rohm's new DVDs "The Art of Water" earlier this week and finally finished watching all of the demos this morning. I thought I'd post some thoughts about them.

You can find info about the DVDs here: http://www.artistproductions.net/artofwaterdvds.htm

There are two discs. Each disc has two demos that are about an hour long (about 4 hours total). The discs can be purchased separately or you can get both at a substantial discount. I found the production quality to be very good. The camera angles allow you to see what he is doing and there is very little "fast-forward" editing. In the instances where there is editing it is usually when he is doing something repetitive or relatively unimportant to the painting. The audio is very good. I had no trouble understanding anything he said. The only flaw is some occasional background noise (at one point you car hear a plane fly over).

All of the demos are done from photographs that he has enhanced and simplified on the computer. Bob talks almost constantly throughout the demos. You get to hear his thought process from beginning to end. He talks about composition as he sketches the subject, his 4 value block-in approach, demos 3 different underpainting approaches, abstracting masses & connecting shadow masses, using different colors of similar value for variety, his approach to 'transparent' darks, how to create suggestions of background objects that won't distract from the focal point and I lot more that I can't remember right now!

Of course he talks a lot about water and how to paint it convincingly. He explains how to create reflections that will read properly...how the values of reflections on the water will be a different value than the objects casting the reflections. He talks about how when object gets wet they will darken in value and become more reflective.

Disc 1 Demo 1: "Rippled Water"
12x18 on Wallis White
A harbor scene with fishing boats. He starts with a watercolor underpainting then applies soft pastel on top. He talks about the rhythm of rippling water and what that does to reflections, making suggestions of background boats and layering colors (especially in the lightest lights) to create a visual vibration. Keep an eye out for his combo light orange, pink & green homemade pastel that he uses in the sky.

Disc 1 Demo 2: "Fast Moving Water"
12x18 on Wallis Belgium Mist
A rocky stream with cascades. Block in with hard pastels then straight to the softies (no wash). He allows the tone of the paper to be a middle value and show through in places in the completed painting. At one point he uses a paper towel to soften pretty much the entire image. This one was probably my favorite.

Disc 2 Demo 1: "Slow Moving Water"
12x18 on Wallis White
River scene with mid-ground trees. He begins by sketching the composition and then blocking in with hard pastels. Once the block-in is completed he uses mineral spirits to create a wash and stain the paper. Once the wash is dry he uses fixative to intentionally darken his darkest shadow areas. I liked his approach to painting the mid-ground and background trees and their reflections.

Disc 2 Demo 2: "Transparent Water"
12x18 on Wallis White
Underwater rocks with background trees and bushes. He uses the same starting approach as the "Slow Moving Water" demo minus the fixative. He paints cast shadows on the rocks underneath the water. He explains how in the transparent water situation only the sunlit part of objects will reflect in the water...the shadows won't reflect and the water will remain transparent.

Although the subject of the DVDs is water I found the other aspects of the scenes (trees, rocks, boats, etc) to be just as instructional. There is a bit repitition between the demos, but I found it to be the really important aspects of painting so I did not mind it very much.

There are also 3 short 'Extras' on the DVDs (the same extras are on both discs). In the extra features he talks about aspects of water in some of his other works, his studio space and his plein air easel.

Even though I own Bob's previous pastel video "Autumn Flow" I think that the subject matter of these demos vary enough to make them well worth the price. I highly recommend them for anyone who wants to learn more about painting landscapes in pastel.

09-21-2006, 02:43 PM
Thanks, Lance!

Kathryn Wilson
09-21-2006, 09:34 PM
Excellent review! Rating this thread an Excellent so it can go in the Library.

Paula Ford
09-22-2006, 04:46 AM
Wow, thank you!! Wonderful review!


09-22-2006, 10:10 AM
Thank you for this wonderful and thorough review. I went to his website to check it out further and they look like a worthy investment.

K Taylor-Green
09-22-2006, 02:08 PM
Thanks so much, Lance! I really enjoyed Autumn Flow. These sound equally good.

09-22-2006, 05:31 PM
<sigh> I suppose I'll have to go out now and buy them. Or hey, I turn 50 in a couple of weeks, so maybe I'll just see if I can get them for my birthday! :)

Bob was a videographer in a previous life, and he has high production values.

09-26-2006, 02:08 PM
Boy, these look great. And I'm so fascinated by water and would love to be able to paint it decently. Of course naturally I found this thread the very *DAY* I decided my credit card bills are getting out of hand, and I have to go on a strict budget and stop buying any art supplies for a while!

Mary Brigid
09-28-2006, 08:30 AM
Thank you Lance for taking the time to do such a terriffic review. You should be on commission :D My birthday is in Dec so there will be constant hints :smug: