Lesson 8: Rendering Reflections

with Tom Swimm

Water is a great painting subject because it takes on so many forms—from the rushing white rapids of a river to the glasslike surface of a still pond. Generally, when rendering water in oil, use short, choppy strokes and thick paint to create rough waters and smooth, fluid strokes and thin color for calm waters. Also, remember that water reflects anything above its surface, including the sky; but the size, shape, and colors of the reflection will depend on the condition of the water. For example, in rough waters, an object’s reflection will be wavy and broken, while in calm waters, the reflection will be a darker mirror image of the object. In this painting of a simple, single boat, Tom Swimm provides ...

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