Waterlog - Perspectives No. 374
Perspectives No. 374
In this season of spring rains we have been trying to get out and paint with minor success. The idea is that all those puddles of water make interesting reflections and add light to the ground plane. Bright, reflective tire ruts also serve to lead the eye up into the focal point. The trouble is that it won’t stop raining for more than a little while, so both the work and the artist tend to get pretty soggy, pretty fast. Forced to retreat to the warmth and comforts of our studios, we use the memories of our rain-soaked observations from which to paint. This only works well if one has a good grasp of the rules of thumb for painting reflections in water. See: An Imperfect Mirror. In that article we described in detail how reflections in water often work, and what conditions cause them to behave differently and why. This knowledge we gradually acquired the best way—through years of sketching and painting all types of water wherever we have lived or traveled. (Once, I even painted a large watercolor while standing chest-deep in a lake!) Having a good working understanding of reflections will help any artist who is trying to keep dry and create a natural-looking scene from imagination or memory in the studio. The painting above, The Road Home, II, was created in the studio from memory and illustrates how useful a little reflection can be.
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