Here's how I did this painting:
After stapling wet watercolor paper to my board and allowing it to dry (this stretches the paper so it won't buckle), I paint sky and clouds. Then I add soft muted colors for the foliage on the distant hills by painting a gray wash, then dropping in warmer colors of red, yellow and deep green.
The closer trees are painted brighter and warmer. This visually brings them forward:
I also add some bare branches for variety:
Now it's time to stand back and take a look at things. I'm happy with the painting so far!
The light is coming from behind and filtering through the trees, so I paint the shadows cast from the tree trunks and foliage. This is fun to do!
It's also fun to paint wet-into-wet. Green areas often benefit from some red paint!
Now to the reflections - first I paint the entire water area blue. When that is dry, I paint the reflection of the hillside in the water, then the reflection of tree trunks:
Once that is done, it's time to paint the reflection of foliage. I am careful to leave small blue lines to indicate wavelets:
When all the reflections have been painted and it is dry, I wash the entire water area with a very pale wash of blue and lots of water. This softens the reflections and gives the illusion of depth:
Here is the completed painting:
If you'd like to compare it to the oil version, you can find that here: Fall Reflections Oil Painting
Which is your favorite?
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