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Painting Water Reflections: 3 Must-See Videos

Explore three different approaches to capturing the reflective quality of water with these video workshops from Thomas Schaller, Liz Haywood-Sullivan, and Craig Nelson.

Learn more about painting water reflections below!

Become a master of painting water reflections by exploring these three different approaches to the subject! In Thomas Schaller’s video, “Capturing Light in Watercolor: Landscape Painting,” learn how to paint a vibrant rural landscape in watercolor, igniting the senses with a “river of light” cutting through the scene. Next, learn Liz Haywood-Sullivan‘s approach to capturing the transparent and reflective quality of water in “Painting Realistic Landscapes in Pastel: Water & Reflections.” Finally, explore the fundamentals of painting water in oils with Craig Nelson’s classic, “Oil Painting Techniques: How to Paint Water.” You’ll learn techniques for capturing the color, flow, transparency, and reflections in water. Enjoy!

1. Create Focal Points in Watercolor

In “Capturing Light in Watercolor: Landscape Painting,” you’ll follow along as Thomas Schaller walks you through painting water reflections. You’ll learn how to make light reflecting on a river the focal point of a landscape painting, as well as composition tips for sketching and where to play lights and darks. In the preview above, you’ll paint the bridge over the water. Make sure to check out the entire workshop to paint reflections of the sky and trees in moving water.


2. Get Realistic with Pastel

In “Painting Realistic Landscapes in Pastel: Water & Reflections,” Liz Haywood-Sullivan shares pastel painting techniques such as layering and blending for creating an artistic and realistic water scene. This tranquil wooded stream scene gives you the opportunity to paint a river complete with tree reflections, high grasses, and water. Watch the preview above and then complete the full video workshop to paint this pastel scene from start to finish.


3. Add Gleam and Reflection in Oil

In “Oil Painting Techniques: How to Paint Water,” you’ll follow along with Craig Nelson as you learn not only how to paint frothy waters, but also the elements surrounding them, such as building structures, beautiful fountains, and natural rocks. Watch the preview above and then continue on to the full video workshop to place movement into your painting through the use of color and value.

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