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Old 12-20-2010, 11:00 PM
Timmy321 Timmy321 is offline
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Help!how Do You Paint Moving Water?

Could you please share your techniques for painting water? I would like to know how to paint things like rivers and streams. I don't really want to know how to paint ocean waves and such. But how would you paint a rushing river and the reflections on it? Whenever i paint a river it appears slow, unmoving and flat. Thank you for the time and effort you put into helping a beginner out.

Last edited by painterbear : 10-12-2013 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:17 AM
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Yorky Yorky is offline
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Re: Help!how Do You Paint Moving Water?

Check out the Watercolor Demos and Handbook links in my signature for a myriad of painting tips.

Welcome to the forum.

Doug
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Old 12-21-2010, 05:12 AM
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painterbear painterbear is offline
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Re: Help!how Do You Paint Moving Water?

Hi Timmy,
Welcome to the Watercolor Forum.

In the Learning Demos, scroll down to the section on Water and Waves and you will find these threads:

Quote:
WATER AND WAVES

Avon River by Rod Webb

Boat in an Estuary by Rod Webb

Loon and Water Reflections by Shelley P

Water by Rich Williams

Water Reflections by Rod Webb

They will demonstrate graphically how to paint water.

The link is in my and Doug's signature lines or at the top of this sub-forum.

Sylvia
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Old 12-21-2010, 05:42 AM
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UNK UNK is offline
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Re: Help!how Do You Paint Moving Water?



This is a painting of a rushing river ( small falls ) near my summer place. To capture rushing white water you need to indicate a height - that is the water must indeed fall - so paint the river top and then the rocks in the foreground where the water tumbles. Leave the water areas white as you paint the landscape and rocks. Then start with your lightest blue/green and weave this into the water as an underpainting - being careful to keep lots of whites open. On your pencil sketch you may want to put some maskit splotches to presevrve key white water areas.

Make the rocks random so you don't end up with all the rocks along each side - piut a few in the middle above and below the falls.

Then move to darker blues and weave these into the flow - still keeping whites to make the water dance. Also remember that rocks don't just sit on the surface of the water - but you will see a small shade of them under the water where it rushes close to the rocks...so put a little weaker colour at the rocks base.

For splashes use gouache and use sandpaper and a sharp exacto knife to scrape the rocks to give them a watery look and splash spots.

Look at all the video and demo suggestions above - they're great. But one of the secrets is to paint the water last - but keep it in mind as you paint the rocks and landscape. And be sure to indicate where the water's coming from and the height also suggests fast flowing water. One more thing - paint furiously and fast and loose when it comes to the water - that's the way it flows and taking too much time or going into the paint again and again will spoil the effect.

Practice the water on small scraps of paper - you'll pick up a rythum that way. Just any old scraps and some pigment to practice for a few minutes at the end of the day. You'll be a master water painter before long.

Hope this helps a little.

UNK
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:01 AM
Noula Noula is offline
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Re: Help!how Do You Paint Moving Water?

Hello Timmy. Lots of information for me as well! Thank you Wilf. The flowing water in your painting is great. Will try this next week when I have a few days free.
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Athena
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Old 12-21-2010, 01:35 PM
Timmy321 Timmy321 is offline
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Re: Help!how Do You Paint Moving Water?

Thankyou to all of you for all of the help you have given me. I wasn't expecting this much!
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Old 12-21-2010, 02:48 PM
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peteralv peteralv is offline
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Re: Help!how Do You Paint Moving Water?

Thanks Wilf for your conscienstious explanations.....
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Old 12-22-2010, 09:08 AM
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Re: Help!how Do You Paint Moving Water?

I love to paint down by the lake near my home. The waves I paint in the house never look as good as waves that I paint down by the lake--they have more action. Maybe it's because of what UNK says, you have to move as "fast and loose" as the water to get the water's action into the painting. Excellent advice! Can you go down to the water to paint?
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Old 12-24-2010, 06:25 AM
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Re: Help!how Do You Paint Moving Water?

Hello Timmy and all!

Painting moving water? I was attracted by that topic naturally. I am a whitewater kayakist, I have been observing (hi Karenlee, we enjoy the same thing here) and using moving water for over 15 years and it still amaze me. The energy, the shapes, the reflection, the splashes...kayaking in it as painting it are both equally fun I reckon.

I am tempted to jump into some coaching questions with you to hekp you find what you like so much about moving water that makes you want to recreate it. But I would not do that without your agreement. And in fact, since you are asking for the 'How to', everybody can share their best way to achieve a good mooving water result (nice job UNK) and I believe all answers can be equally good.

Mine? Pouring water, masking fluid splashes, drawing 'water shapes' and mask them out, lifting color, salt, scratching... I have lots of fun doing it, mostly over a Fredrix canvas because water run so fast on that surface. Then I feel like I am taking risks, just like I do in my kayak . I share with you a piece that I have done on such canvas very simple in terms of values and composition. Let me know what you see, feel, think? And others too!

BTW, Merry Christmas all!
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Old 12-24-2010, 08:30 AM
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Re: Help!how Do You Paint Moving Water?

These are all great suggestions! This site is a wealth of knowledge!

Have fun and post your painting for us when it is done!

Reggie
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Old 12-24-2010, 01:20 PM
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Re: Help!how Do You Paint Moving Water?

Study your reference carefully . look for the Whites and save them . Then paint just the color you see , maybe even upside down ,so you are just seeing . Look for the gradations , they will be important in water.
June
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Old 12-24-2010, 02:43 PM
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Re: Help!how Do You Paint Moving Water?

Excellent suggestions and information on different ways to paint moving water!

I've added this thread to the Watercolor Handbook under Techniques — Water.

Sylvia
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Old 12-24-2010, 08:12 PM
Timmy321 Timmy321 is offline
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Re: Help!how Do You Paint Moving Water?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVallee
Hello Timmy and all!

Painting moving water? I was attracted by that topic naturally. I am a whitewater kayakist, I have been observing (hi Karenlee, we enjoy the same thing here) and using moving water for over 15 years and it still amaze me. The energy, the shapes, the reflection, the splashes...kayaking in it as painting it are both equally fun I reckon.

I am tempted to jump into some coaching questions with you to hekp you find what you like so much about moving water that makes you want to recreate it. But I would not do that without your agreement. And in fact, since you are asking for the 'How to', everybody can share their best way to achieve a good mooving water result (nice job UNK) and I believe all answers can be equally good.

Mine? Pouring water, masking fluid splashes, drawing 'water shapes' and mask them out, lifting color, salt, scratching... I have lots of fun doing it, mostly over a Fredrix canvas because water run so fast on that surface. Then I feel like I am taking risks, just like I do in my kayak . I share with you a piece that I have done on such canvas very simple in terms of values and composition. Let me know what you see, feel, think? And others too!

BTW, Merry Christmas all!
When i saw this it startled me! Perhaps it was the amount of movement or something i don't even know about that has to do with composition. But either way i honestly think it's beautiful!

And also, the reason i want to recreate water is because i am a fisherman. And whenever i go out, i love to see the water. The clarity and sparkliness. The colors. It all just makes me feel jittery and happy. It's like a whole new world inside water!

There is also one more thing i would like to ask you. May i, using this as a reference image, copy this, and then post it for critiques? I think it would help me grow art-wise.

Last edited by Timmy321 : 12-24-2010 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 12-25-2010, 12:46 PM
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Re: Help!how Do You Paint Moving Water?

Moving water is definitely a challenge. Save a lot of whites and use surrounding colours for the darks as reflected on the water. Easier said than done.
Stefanie, your river rush is just perfect, job well done.
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:10 AM
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SVallee SVallee is offline
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Re: Help!how Do You Paint Moving Water?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy321
When i saw this it startled me! Perhaps it was the amount of movement or something i don't even know about that has to do with composition. But either way i honestly think it's beautiful! Thanks Timmy (and Cgonzaga for nice review). You could not like it and I would also be fine with it by the way .

Let me share with you what are the 5 principle that guide each of my painting creation. I hope it will be helpful for you to increase your awareness about what you like in my painting. Perhaps you can then use those principles, or adapt them to you needs afterwards. How about that?

1. Action line=one entry and one exit for the eyesight that goes through the golden rule
2. Variations of shapes and textures in a balance way that only me can achieve, according to my taste (you can change 'me' for 'you')
3. 3 value pattern that stick together
4. 1 light source
5. Experiencing live each of my (your) painting topics so I get the feel of it


If you find anythig else that you like and I did not mentioned, let me know! I am sure I can learn something from your perspective of my painting.

And also, the reason i want to recreate water is because i am a fisherman. Cool, so you must have a great connection with moving water, you know the energy of it right? And whenever i go out, i love to see the water. Me too! It feels so relaxing and energizing isn't it? The clarity and sparkliness. I am getting excited, me too! The colors . It all just makes me feel jittery and happy. It's like a whole new world inside water! Yep, you say exaclty what I think too in other words: when I paint water, I paint the universe. Isn't it a powerful perspective, inspiring?!

There is also one more thing i would like to ask you. May i, using this as a reference image, copy this, and then post it for critiques? I think it would help me grow art-wise.
Interesting that you need my painting to get critique 'to grow' as you say and not yours. May I ask you why?
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Last edited by SVallee : 12-27-2010 at 07:18 AM.
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