Friday, March 19, 2010

Daily Painting Practice - Painting Water

I  find painting water one of the most challenging  things about landscape painting.  It beats painting clouds, trees, grass and even rocks. All of those have a greater fudge factor, but water is like painting skin on a portrait. It needs to feel alive at the same time it has to have depth and movement ( maybe tension is a better word)  even when it is on a still surface.

Take a look at these three progress shots. You may have to look  to find the differences but after two weeks I had hope to make more progress.

I love this water. I should clarify, actually, I love the potential of this water. This water has me painting and repainting, tweaking and  standing back, squinting and squirming over  and over and over.  I am a little afraid of over painting  because I need to keep the water looking fresh and clean...( who likes to look at muddy water?)

click on the image to enlarge the painting

Back to the Northwoods
(painting in progress)

Here's the problem I am working on: The texture of the floating water lilies and algae is so very different from the surface texture of the water. It needs to look as if  it is floating. If that isn't hard enough to paint , I put the foreground in shadow  and the light  cutting across the background  with lots of color in the reflections. (Who thought of this painting?) This was supposed to be an easy  one.  What is the lesson we should all learn from this?

The next time you go to a gallery and look at a really beautifully  painted  landscape with a very soothing and tranquil body of water in it...
  say a prayer for the artist.


Anonymous said...

beautiful painting and brilliantly excecuted water! your comparing painting water to portrait painting was so apt. i couldn't have described it better myself.

Sharon Kay said...

The lesson is that we aren't God. We are just trying to imitate Her. :)

Julie said...

Beautiful paintings! I love the name of your blog. I started mine for the same person. I've painted and taught art lessons for over 30 years and it's time to start sharing with others all things I've learned. (especially which art supplies are the best!)

Thanks for sharing!


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