Oil Painting: Lynn Gertenbach's Handy Tips for Painting Water

In the fall 2006 issue of Workshop magazine, Lynn Gertenbach taught her students that plein air painting is a partnership between the artist and nature.  We offer an exerpt from the article with Gertenbach's tips for painting water.

by Molly Siple

  • The reflection of an object in water is longer than the actual object.
  • To give water a glassy look, paint reflections with vertical strokes.
  • For more transparent water, lay in the water using transparent colors.
  • As a river comes toward you, its color intensifies.
  • Water is almost always darker than the sky.
  • The way to keep the color of water subtle is to mix the main hue that your eye sees with its opposite in various small amounts. In other words, add a bit of warm in cool areas, and vice versa.
  • A particular good color mixture for water is ultramarine blue, viridian, and cadmium red.

Read the feature article on this artist.

To read the feature article on this artist, check out the fall 2006 issue of Workshop magazine.

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