Using a flat brush to suggest reflections and ripples on water.
A wash of Ultramarine Blue has been allowed to dry, by using a stronger wash of blue and a flat brush I am able to create horizontal strokes that suggest a rippled surface. This technique is worth practicing. Try using different brushes to achieve lively results let your brushstrokes be spontaneous, aim for a simple statement that will suggest ripples of darker colour over your dry wash. Practice this on scraps of paper and build your confidence before you start on the real thing.
This example shows a wet into wet method of creating ripples. The raw sienna wash was still wet when I applied strokes of Cobolt blue into it. This method can be exiting and less predictable as happy accidents can occur
Lifting out paint.
In this example I have used the lifting out technique to suggest the reflection of the boat. I do this by re wetting the area with a stiff brush and lifting out the paint with tissue. As you can see I haven’t managed to get back to the white of the paper as the under wash of Prussian blue is a staining pigment so it is well worth knowing which of your paints are the staining variety if you want a true white when using this method. I know to my cost that Prussian blue is staining as most of my clothing is permanently stained with this colour!
Another example of lifting out with a stiff brush and tissue. Note that I have managed to get back the white of the paper, this is because Ultramarine does not stain and therefore leaves almost white paper.
clean water a stiff brush and tissue are needed to lift the dry paint from the paper
Monochromatic study using wax resist.
Before applying the washes I have used a piece of wax to highlight the white cottage, I have also placed some horizontal strokes of wax into the water area.
Darker tones have now been placed to sugest distant trees, a stronger wash has been placed into the water and around the cottage to sugest reflections.
I paint a weak shadow tone onto the side of the cottage and into its reflection. You can clearly see the wax now and although it is a little hit and miss it still retains the white of the paper
A darker wash is now applied around the cottage to suggest more trees.
Using my flat brush I place horizontal brushstrokes to suggest some movement into the water.
In the final version you can see that I have echoed the darker tree shapes into the water and around the cottage, a few suggestions of posts at the waters edge and a hint of detail in the reflection of the cottage itself. The waxed area allowed me to be bold when applying the water washes, as I knew that the white of the paper would be retained.
My thoughts on masking fluid/Frisket
I suppose I am jumping on my soapbox now but just want to share my thoughts about masking fluid. I personally try to avoid the stuff if I can, that is not to say I haven’t used it or will never use it again as it can be useful and does have its merits. I will only reach for it if I have an area that I need to preserve that could prove tricky to paint around. In the past I found that it became a crutch and I relied upon it unnecessarily. It made me a lazy painter and stopped me from ‘thinking on my feet’ I have also had occasions when I have ripped the paper when removing it and ruined a painting in the process. I also have also wrecked many a decent brush as I haven’t removed it fast enough and the hairs of the brush have become stuck together when the masking fluid had dried, so I now do my best to get along without it if I can. This of course is my own personal view and I will not inform the ‘Masking Fluid’ Police if I see you using the stuff.
Exercise to try.
Only two colours are needed to paint this simple little scene, Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna. Practice painting the reflections of the rocks, posts and boat, Keep your brushstrokes loose and free by making a simple statement with your brush to describe their shape and form as they are reflected into the water. When dry practice-placing suggestions of ripples and water movement in the waters foreground.
Another exercise to try.
Another simple exercise for you to try.
Three trees sit on the riverbank, notice that the foreground tree leans slightly to the left, as does its reflection. The two crops of distant trees only reflect their top half into the water because they are further away. Only objects that are at the waters edge are fully reflected, objects that are further away only reflect part of its shape into the water this is because you would only see what would be visible from the water level.