Saturday, 9 May 2009

Painting Water: Book Review

Painting Water by Francis Dowden

Even though I am moving into oil painting for my Waterways Project, I found this watercolor book helpful. The author discusses such topics as how to make water look wet, dealing with issues of shallow water, rippling water and still water.

When I first began the Project, I was intimidated by all the various visual elements present in a waterscape...still am! But I found just plunging in by sketching, photographing but most importantly using the "gaze" many of us artist's talk about.

When observing water, it's interesting to see how various lights pick up and distort reflections and shadows. Shadows are darker than reflections and depending on the light can make beautiful cross patterns on the surface of the water. The sky reflection, just like the sky itself, has more color saturation as it moves forward in the picture plane.

It's nice to know the rules even if I disregard them or subvert them when the picture requires it.


Katherine Tyrrell said...

You've reminded me of a book I've got "somewhere" which is all about painting water in all its different guises - must dig it out.

I do so agree about the value of gazing. I take loafs of photos of my ponds but I spend far more time just looking an absorbing.

Lindsay said...

Yes, Katherine, do post if you've got a good one too.I've got another I'm looking at now so I'll post it if I think it's worthwhile.

The looking combined with looking at water art is something I find most helpful. It's really interesting to see what other artist's pick up that I've missed ;)

Jeanette said...

I have very little in the way of resources that are dedicated to water, but it may be worthwhile to browse and buy a little just to see how others achieve their own illusions.