View Full Version : Painting Water in Pastel

07-24-2008, 08:17 AM
Well we did a cloud thread; anyone interested in contributing to a water one?

Here is three examples from me, first is the waterfall I did recently, including the pastel underpainting.


this one is stream water with rocks. grey Wallis with charcoal underpainting.

Sine this about water, here is a crop of just the water from one of my paintings done with PanPastel.
Please post your water paintings, WIPS etc...:thumbsup:

07-24-2008, 12:40 PM
While I'm only just now starting on a cloud-painting, my next one after that will be water, so I'm game!

07-24-2008, 12:48 PM
Tres I really like the second of your three water scenes. I'd love to jump in and join this challenge, but right now I'm painting - a box of candy! Handmade chocolates to be exact and the biggest challenge is not eating any of them! Well OK, I did break down last night and now I'll have to get more - darn! I'll tell all about this piece when I finish it - the painting that is, and not the candy. :lol:


Kathryn Wilson
07-24-2008, 01:59 PM
Cool paintings Tressa!

Here are a few of mine - I found I loved doing this type of water.



07-24-2008, 02:48 PM
Great Charlie, look forward to your clouds and your water!

Peggy, chocolate??? I could paint the jelly beans or the liquorice(don't like either) but chocolate??? Oh no!!:eek: :eek: Can't wait to hear the rest of this!

Kat, these are both lovely, and speak NC to me(although they could very well be somewhere dif)!!!!! The second looks like one of the beautiful lakes in the region. That is one of the great things about art, is how other people react to the subject!

07-24-2008, 03:42 PM
Kat - very nice water! Tres is right about how lovely it is to see something, not know the exact location, but be able to feel comfortable placing it somewhere you do know. Both of these paintings do that.

Yah Tres - it is a big problem. I'm thinking I might have to title it "Just One Bite", but paint an empty box with some empty foil wrappers! :evil:


Kathryn Wilson
07-24-2008, 04:13 PM
LOL - they are actually taken from the RIL photos by Carlanna who I believe said they were off the coast of Australia.

07-24-2008, 04:41 PM
this thread already looks great and is very helpful!!! I don't have any water....but if you start a thread on painting goats, count me in!!!

07-24-2008, 05:42 PM
Great paintings in this thread. Water scenes are always so calmingto look at. Here is one of mine which I did earlier this year.


07-24-2008, 06:03 PM
All right! This looks like fun. I am going to post, then I leave to teach a workshop over the weekend, but will be back to see what has been added.

All paintings on Wallis Belgium Mist

Song in Blue and Gray 12x9

American River Reflections 16x12

Of Land and Sea 26x31

Paula Ford
07-24-2008, 06:16 PM
Oh wow! Everyone's paintings are so beautiful!! Here is my contribution.


07-24-2008, 06:58 PM
Ooh great ! These are all just yummy!!! You guys are the greatest to contribute to this thread!!! If you have any WIPS or can get some going, please post those also, as we all enjoy seeing the creative process!!
I will try to do a WIP later, but am on a rather tight schedule getting commitments in the mail by the first of next week! If I have some down time this weekend maybe at least get one started! yea I know, I'm on WC cause I'm procrastinating:evil:

Adriana Meiss
07-24-2008, 08:10 PM
OK, here are mine. All 13''x19'' on Colourfix.

This one is a studio painting from a plein air piece, in Northern PA.
Stream At Leetonia, PA

This one is of a place about a mile from where I live.
Meadowbrook Afternoon

This one was from a photo taken in the Central Adirondacks:
Fall on the Oswegatchie

07-24-2008, 08:35 PM
All three are fantastic Adriana,I think number two is my favorite! you did a beautiful job with the shine on the water...

Deborah Secor
07-24-2008, 09:30 PM
Here are my contributions. :wave:





07-25-2008, 12:04 AM
What a super thread Tressa, some terrific posts, awesome art from all of you!!!

WOW, some wonderful water, I'm going to spend hours studying all of these pieces, I'm rating this thread in its infancy. I just love water! Moving water is a huge challenge. Any tips from anyone on creating movement in water, and still capture the luminosity?

Thought I would post some tamed water. Just out on the lake... This is on velour. I had more fun doing the water than doing Skip. This was my fourth pastel! With all you totally talanted ones, I thought I'd post something by a novice... Carol

07-25-2008, 06:41 AM
Carol, great lake water, and it reads very well! And Skip is adorable too!! This is a great portrait with a wonderful b/g, and I love the lifejacket!:D

Deborah, these are all just delicious, and I remember the rocks, Pans and sticks right? The stream in the second has beautiful back light, rushing water, yum! and the last is dreamy with the purples, greens, and soft yellow light in the back! Thanks for posting! I love your work!

07-25-2008, 06:42 AM
LOL - they are actually taken from the RIL photos by Carlanna who I believe said they were off the coast of Australia.

See what I mean, lol??? I related to them as a place I knew:D

07-25-2008, 06:44 AM
this thread already looks great and is very helpful!!! I don't have any water....but if you start a thread on painting goats, count me in!!!

Linda, you could do a goat drinking, swimming, or playing beach ball!!:D

Donna T
07-25-2008, 09:08 AM
Gosh, you guys are good at painting water! What an inspirational thread this is. I've only done a few water paintings but I did remember to take a photo of the ugly underpainting stage of this one so I'll post it too. I guess this is my lucky painting - I just found out that it was accepted into a juried show (my first!) and it received a landscape award.


Watercolor underpainting with first layer of pastel:

finished plein air painting:

07-25-2008, 09:09 AM
Wow Glad to see so many beautiful painting about water. Here are a couple of mine but no wheres near a beautiful.

Mario V
07-25-2008, 09:49 AM
The cloud thread is great but this one is even better!! Thanks Tressa!!!!

In general I avoid :D painting water. Here is one try...


Mario V
07-25-2008, 10:36 AM
...a landscape demo by Barbara Benedetti Newton mightyartdemos (http://www.mightyartdemos.com/mightyartdemos-newton1.html)

07-25-2008, 12:07 PM
Everyone's water is so different and beautifully painted!! :thumbsup: What a great thread to combine so many cool water paintings! and I'm in total agreement with Donna's comment that it's very inspirational. This will be a great addition to the library when it opens, Tres.
Cindy :wave:



07-25-2008, 12:07 PM
Wow, these are so awesome. I love the cloud thread as I'd love to paint gorgeous clouds, but I absolutely *yearn* to paint water. I don't even know where to start. I'm so impressed. I'm still learning with clouds, but I'm getting to a point where I'm thinking my clouds are adequate.

But water - my water is always so flat and "unwatery". I hesitate to post anything here (as I did in the clouds, :lol:) because everyone's water is so great - but this time I'll be brave and post a couple anyway. I'd be grateful for any clues on how to make my water look more like water instead of a big blob!



07-25-2008, 02:10 PM
Wow guys! These are wonderful contributions to this thread! Beauts! Every one!

Debbie, hopefully other will give their tips, but one of the main ones that stuck for me, was you have to build water from the bottom up. Since it is clear and reflective, you have to place what's under it, then the water layer, then the reflection of the sky/land/trees. Same with running water. For example, with falls, place rocks, moss, sticks, etc.. first, then glide a softie over for the "white" water. I have found that using a very soft pastel for rushing water works very well, whether in a stream or falls...
the area in the falls pic of mine that looks like a rock/sandbar toward the front of pool, was a strip of burnt sienna like color in the underpainting.

07-26-2008, 11:48 PM
just thought i would throw this one in. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Jul-2008/125922-New_landscape_021.jpg

07-27-2008, 12:28 AM
wow, this IS a good thread! i also find water can be intimidating. i don't do much of it, cuz there ain't much of it here! but here's what i got...
the creek--on primed mat board of a spot within half mile of my house. this was a demo a month ago in a new gallery.

from a trip to the badlands last year, on half sheet terra cotta colorfix. this one has a story behind it, summed up to say the first day i started this i got spooked by a toothless man and his sidekick, who were partners in their gold claim (yes, there are still ppl like this!) and lived in a broken rv. find out later they are totally harmless so i went back and finished, sold it the next day!

just a small thing i did for practice...primed matboard.

and an older piece from a lewis and clark exhibit nearby. the water didn't thrill me but those whites sure did! on sandy colored canson.

and that's all i got!!

07-27-2008, 06:43 AM
Glorious paintings, wow!

Adriana, yours are *so* serene and calm and beautiful.

Deborah, sure and beautiful as ever. Two I've commented on before, but I gotta tell you, the fourth was the first I saw, scrolling to the bottom of the thread, and I wondered who did it! Have seen many of your quick ones, and this looks different. It is sublimely gorgeous!!! Exquisite colours!

Paula, your use of colour is gorgeous. Very serene painting.

Kim, you're a master at anything you paint! The warmth of "Of Land and Sea" and the light is awsome. American River -- you found an intimate corner of this beautiful river (I've seen it in Sacramento) and the depth and the reflections are just Wow! I'm running out of words, so the first is simply Wow! for those interesting cliffs and gorgeous water.

Marina, your 'shellseekers' is beautiful, the green of the water is lovely, but it is the girl in the red hat that grabs my attention. Love the action of the wind!

Kathryn, wonderful water in both, and of such different character and colour!

Tressa, the waterfall is awsome, love the colours and action. The stones in stream is new to me, and I marvel at how you did it!


07-27-2008, 08:36 AM
Wow, they are ALL so beautiful everyone. Keep going, everyone and join in!

07-27-2008, 10:51 AM
Carol, the water behind the very cute dog is great, it is receding and not taking attention, it is very 'watery', and is alive.

Donna T, gorgeous reflections! And thank you for showing the underpainting, love to watch how others do it, and learn. Did you do the start at home and then went out and finished it plein air?

Scotty, they *are* beautiful! You're developing with every painting you do! The wavelets of the 'thrown in' sparkle.

Mario, lovely duck, and that water is fine and works great as an unobtrusive background!

Cindy, love the broken colour style! All are beautiful, and I love the third most, and the second is great! The light is fab in all!

Debbie C, gorgeous colours!

Chewie, you either live where the landscape is very beautiful and interesting to paint, or you're *very* good at finding the best spots. Your waters are beautiful, and those white stuff on a line in the last pic are *great*! The creek is my favo!


07-27-2008, 11:18 AM
Scott, love the little wave ripples going into the reeds, looks like a sppedboat jst went past:)

Chewie, these are all beautiful, I like the winding path of the "yellow creek" and the falling water of the "rocky creek", the reflections and colors in the "lake water" and the water in the "L&C" is well depicted for a calm rocking of the boat, but who's lookin,cuz those "whites" are stunning!! :D And I love that little swish of blue on the distant shore.

07-27-2008, 12:56 PM
a few much, much , older, different styles, different looks, etc...






and a Monet at Dieppe...


And a really super bad, super old one:evil: :evil:


07-27-2008, 01:09 PM
Tressa, you've come a long way since. Aw, they are not 'bad', they do show promise of the artist you've become, they're just a newbie's work. Especially the last.

The 'monet' is beautiful. The curved shore (in daylight) recedes nicely. Absolutely not bad at all!

07-27-2008, 03:08 PM
Thanks Charlie...

I posted these to show that we all had to start somewhere, and not to be intimidated to post your progress in the artists' journey...the last is one of my very first pastels as an adult, and I won't say how many years that is:evil: .

Deborah Secor
07-27-2008, 08:31 PM
I think sometimes looking at other artist's work is helpful, even in other media. These are part of my 'collection'.

Brian Blood:


Nathan Fowkes:

Love this work, but I don't know the artist. The name is Sawyer:


And pastelists--

Liz Haywood-Sullivan:

Andrew McDermott:

Brad Faegre:

Horace Champagne:

Bill Cone:

Tony Allain:
Okay, so it isn't strictly water--but partly! Love this work... :heart:

Hope you all enjoy!

07-27-2008, 10:55 PM
Those are really nice Tressa I really like the 2nd and 4th ones.
Deborah these are truley great you have a wonderful collection. I tell you which ones I like best but I like them the best ok ok the 2nd and 6th ones mostly

07-27-2008, 11:39 PM

i was thinking the same thing deb, this is the current bookmarked site i look over alot.

thanks for those you posted, the andrew one is really great, and i really like the brad one too. they are all good, those just favs. fun thread!

Mario V
07-28-2008, 10:24 AM
Albert Handell

402413 web site (http://www.alberthandell.com/mainpage.htm)

alaskan rose
07-30-2008, 02:25 AM
Tressa, Thanks for this thread, what beautiful work!!

Here's one of mine. We watched an ouzel working his way up this creek when hiking through Wyoming's Big Horn Mountains a couple summers ago:

Ouzel Creek

07-30-2008, 04:50 AM
Margie, wonderful water! Dark enough to show off the foamy parts. The solid heavyness of the jutting rocks/cliffs really *forces* the water to flow as it does, but the water happily bubbles on, as it, though it is softly delicate, will wear the rocks down -- in due time. Lovely diagonal with contrary forces create a lot of action.

Gorgeous, simply gorgeous!

07-30-2008, 07:36 AM
Margie, beautiful color relationships with movement and energy!! What a lovely hike it must have been!!!

alaskan rose
07-30-2008, 10:13 PM
Thanks, Charlie and Tressa, yeah, it was an incredible hike, actually an incredible trip, travelling through the Rockies and about 6 states just as fall was beginning. I have tons of pictures I hope to post in the reference photos someday...:rolleyes:

07-31-2008, 10:57 AM
ohhhh water :) I have a few samples to share





07-31-2008, 02:01 PM
Wow! Joni! All so different, but so nicely done! I love them all, but I like the broken color on the boat one, and the swans are gorgeous.

07-31-2008, 02:52 PM

08-21-2008, 11:36 PM
Wow these are all so beautiful. everyone has contriubuted with such great works and so many different styles. I love them all.

Thanks to Tressa for starting this :)

08-22-2008, 09:53 AM
There are so many wonderful paintings submitted and I think studing them is great.
I love the challenge of water although most of my paintings are creeks or waterfalls with lots of rocks. Here is one that has lots of rocks and water rushing down. This is on Black Richerson paper.


comments aways welcome

08-22-2008, 12:55 PM
Love to paint water and love to look at paintings of water-the ones posted here are delicious and wonderful. Thought I'd post a couple of mine and jump in (so to speak).
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Aug-2008/128589-DSC00343alongthebeachroadwebsize.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Aug-2008/128589-IMG_7072jacomocreekwebcopy.jpg http://www.jennylynnegragg.com

08-23-2008, 09:06 AM
Caolyn, wonderful water! One of my favorites of yours I think!
Hi Jenny, and welcome! Glad you found this thread, and some beautiful water. Love your use of color in the reflections.

08-23-2008, 10:40 AM
Thanks, Tressa, We live close to a county park and lake complex that calls my name every chance it gets.