Great Blue Heron in a Stream watercolor

Passing by a stream on my walk yesterday, I spotted this heron through the trees. When it saw me, it took to the air and flew right by me and over the field across the road. It was most likely headed to a nearby pond. The sight of it stopped me in my tracks because although I see them often, it is rare to see them that close without binoculars. What a pleasant surprise!

Notice that the water in this painting is denoted by reflections and highlights: the reflections of grass, rocks and trees and highlights where the ripples are. To make water reflections realistic, the dark areas are painted a little bit lighter than what is being reflected and the lights a bit darker. When it comes to ripples or waves, those areas are higher than the smooth water, so they are much lighter at the top especially if the sunlight hits them.