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How To Paint Water So It Doesn't Look Like A Wall 1

How To Paint Water So It Doesn’t Look Like A Wall

How To Paint Water

how to paint water

When you are painting a body of water there is one thing that most beginners miss. The end result is a lake or ocean that just doesn’t look right. It looks more like a vertical wall than a flat body of water.

The thing students often miss when learning how to paint water is the value change in the water as the water gets further away from you.

Here is a student painting at top left. In order to see the problem it is best to convert the image to monochrome (image on right). Then the problem becomes more obvious. You can see in the student painting that the value of the water is virtually constant from the bottom to the top. There is no variation.

On the other hand, If you look at a monochrome version of my painting below, you will see there is a variation in the value. The water is darker close to you, and gets progressively lighter the further the water is from you. It is this variation that creates depth in the seascape and that gives you a feeling that it is a body of water extending into the distance.

The value change is actually very very small. But it is there. Getting those value changes is not easy. But if you don’t do it, your water will look more like a wall, than a horizontal body of water.

See lesson M07 Oceans & Lakes for more explanation of how to paint water, and for a neat trick you can use when painting outdoors to get this gradation accurate.

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What Our Students Are Saying About The Virtual Art Academy

The most comprehensive, in depth and well-organized painting course available online

The most comprehensive, in depth and well-organized painting course available online 2

After a thorough research, my personal conclusion is that the Virtual Art Academy (VAA) is, by wide margin, the most comprehensive, in depth and well-organized painting course available in the internet. Unlike most tutorials and color mixing recipes commonly found online, VAA’s philosophy is rather to provide the students with detailed information about all aspects of painting – color theory, brushwork, drawing, composition, techniques, materials – in an organized manner, in a way to allow for short-term improvements while optimizing the learning curve throughout the course. And, while the VAA curriculum, by itself, is already among the most valuable literature about art one can find (both online or offline) – for its depth and comprehensiveness –, the online platform adds a lot more to the learning experience, since the exchange in information and experience with other students is of immense help. Finally, what is most unique about the VAA, in my opinion, is that its creator Barry J. Raybould not only has a successful career as an artist himself – with an economic style and distinguished understanding of color – but he was also able to distill his own knowledge and experience into an accessible and effective method (as can be proven by the works of some of his earlier students). If you are serious about learning art and (as was my case) can’t enroll formal art schools, I would say there’s zero chance you will regret joining the VAA. In fact, I truly believe that, in the centuries to come, people will still learn to paint through Barry’s method.

Bruno Villela
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