Fall Reflections Autumn Watercolor Painting

Fall Reflections is a scene of autumn trees that I have painted before in oil on canvas. I received a request to paint it in watercolor - it was a great opportunity to try the scene in a different medium. It is a companion piece for another autumn watercolor I will do for the same client.

All paintings start with an inspiration - mine often are inspired by the natural world that surrounds me. Below is the scene near my studio that inspired this painting. As you can see in the painting above, I added more color and moved the pond to the foreground so we can see the reflections.

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?

I'm happy to take custom orders. Please contact me for a custom painting of your pet, home, garden, grandkids, favorite vacation spot or whatever your heart desires.
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