Painting Reflections In Watercolor | Mandar Marathe | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

4 Lessons (40m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Aspects of Reflection

    • 3. Techniques Of Painting Reflections

    • 4. Reflections Demo

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About This Class

 Welcome to Painting reflections in watercolor!
We'll start this class by going over the art supplies that I’ll be using, some technical aspects of observing reflections, and different techniques of painting them. 

Then you'll see a complete demo of a painting involving reflections!

As I paint, I’ll also describe my process fully so that you understand what exactly I am planning to do and why I am doing it that way.  

This class is intended for beginner and intermediate level artists that want to take their work to the next level.
So sign up now if you want to learn how to paint reflections in watercolors!  

See you inside!

Meet Your Teacher

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Mandar Marathe

Fine Artist, Sculptor, Illustrator, Designer


My name is Mandar Marathe and I am a fine artist, illustrator, and sculptor based in Pune, India.

Have a look at the classes that I teach here on Skillshare, see my projects and join me here to learn from me and feel inspired to create your own masterpieces! You do not need any previous knowledge or art experience to benefit from my classes. I'm here to answer any queries you might have.

Join in!

Follow me on Instagram to see my latest work and timelapse videos!

 Happy art making!

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1. Introduction: Welcome to painting reflections in watercolor. In this class, I will show you a step-by-step demonstration of this lovely landscape. Will look at art supplies that I'll be using. Some technical aspects of observing reflections and different techniques of painting them. As I paint, I'll describe my process fully so that you understand what exactly I'm planning to do and why I'm doing it that way. This class is intended for beginner and intermediate level artists that want to take their work to the next level. So sign up now, if you want to learn how to paint reflections in watercolor, see you inside. 2. Aspects of Reflection: Whenever you are planning to paint any reflections, there are a few things which you should observe very carefully so that whenever you paint, you are aware of those things and they turn out realistic looking in your painting as well. So the first thing to observe in reflections is whether it is dark or light than the object itself. Let's say there is a bunch of grass here and it's at the edge of the water. So there is the reflection of that here. And you want to see, or you want to identify whether the reflection is darker than the object itself or lighter than the object. It can vary depending on what the atmosphere is, what is the kind of light they are falling on this object. But then you have to identify whether you need to paint the reflection lighter or darker than the object. Generally it is lighter, but then you need to observe your landscape properly to paint it in a more believe it will be. The second thing which you need to observe is the height of the deflection. It depends. Height of the reflection is this height. And it really depends on your angle of looking at it. If you are at the surface of the water, then the height of the reflection might be different. Then you are, if you are looking at it from top, if you're looking at it from top, you will not see the reflection at all. Whereas if you look at it from the level of the water, then the deflection will have its own different length. So when you paint, you need to see how, what is the height of the reflection as compared to the height of the object itself and paint accordingly to make it look very much believable. The third thing which you need to observe before painting or drawing reflections is whether they are sharp or fuzzy. Sharp reflection will look almost like a mirror image. I mean, if the water is barely moving or not moving at all, then it will look very sharp. Whereas if the water is moving or there is a disturbance in the water, the reflection might look something like this. If it looks like this, you will have to adopt a different way of painting the reflection. If the reflection looks something like this, then you have to adopt a different way of painting, the deflection and so on. So these are the first three things which you should identify and should pay close attention to before jumping into drawing and painting the reflections. 3. Techniques Of Painting Reflections: Now let's look at how we can paint reflections or different looking deflections in different ways. I painted these two grass bunches and I'll be painting one in a particular way and the other in another way. Just to give an idea of how different differently they can be painted. The first thing, in the first way I can paint this, and I'm assuming here that the water is not very still. So it's kind of moving our shaking a bit. And hence the reflection will not be very smooth or will not be very sharp, not smooth. So I'm pretty wetting the paper to some extent. And then I'll be introducing this color into it. And towards the base of the reflection, I'll be adding darker color so that it truly represents the object which it is reflecting. So this is one way of painting. A shadow. Sorry, a reflection. And I can, if the water is moving too much, then there might be, might be able to see sliver of white light passing through something like this. Yet another way of painting, reflection would be using, this time I'm using a flat brush instead of around one. And I'll be painting the deflection of this bunch of grass in a different way. I'm using the brush like this. And the water is moving too much, then it will look something like this. Towards the base of the reflection. That difference between or the green marks will be close together. Whereas as we move away from the base of the reflection, there'll be lots of white area or a reflection which actually will be seen. Reflection of the sky or whatever it is there beyond will be seen. So this is another way of painting, reflection. So if I compare these two reflections, this water seems to be slightly shaky but not moving a lot. And this one in this kind of a deflection suggests that the water is moving quite a bit. And that's why there is this kind of ripples which are seen in the water. So you have to observe the kind of landscape you are painting. And depending on what you are seeing demands, you have to use that technique to paint the reflections. Here also, you can lift some color if required. But don't overdo it. Otherwise, it look very unnatural. But these are the basic two ways you can paint reflections in water. 4. Reflections Demo: This is the black and white value study which I am done for painting, which I'm going to demonstrate now. And in this painting I want to capture mainly the reflection of this tree and deflections of these mountains in this water. It's seen from the machine backwater. And I have 140 GSM paper here, and I have palette glass pilot and be using mainly cobalt blue, chrome yellow. And I have some Alizarin crimson or crimson lake here. And mostly I'll be using only these colors. I might add burnt sienna if required, but I'll see if I need that while M painting. So I'm roughly drawing this scene here using a pencil on this paper. This is the horizon line and I want this small heel here. This will be its reflection. And this is the mountain here going up. And this part of land will come down here. And there'll be three. Stranding here might cause some shadow here. I might introduce shadow that here on this part of the land. And maybe a shrub here, I don't know. And the mean part which I want to capture is the reflection of that tree here. And that's the basic drawing I need. O and starting with big brush. This is number ten flat. And I want to keep the sky simple. So I'll be starting with a pail wash of cobalt blue in here. And I want to dilute the color as I come down. Though there is not much of sky here. I want to have that gradate a bit. I'm also spreading this color on the mountain. And then we'd maybe half a minute for this to dry and come in with now blue-gray. So I'll be adding some green to this, yellow to this to make it a green. But I also want to make it fail. So I'll add some of the third primary which I have here. So it will grade down a bit. And I want to keep the blue tinge to it and adding more blue. And let's see how it looks. Green for me. More blue in it. And I apply a tin wash and still a lot greener. And I wanted to be more blue to it. And let's see how it goes. Once your mix the color in watercolor, you should always go with lot of confidence that it will work out fine. There's no point in acting timid. And I might introduce this. And some places here just to add some variation to it. And wait for this to dry. And then I need to paint this hill. Now I'll make it slightly more greenish. But dotted green. Let's see how this looks. It's a bit more data. Then what I need, some more water goes in. And I want this to come down a bit. Then the mountain, you can see the difference in the Be still. And wait for this, both these colors to dry before I add the color for the water on, actually, I might let, it's better to wait. I can paint this. I want this to be brown. So I'm starting with the yellow though it looks green because I had my brush go there. So I want an early color, S2 brides and adding a tinge of blue to it to make it dark. Let's see how this looks. Seems okay to me. I want to plead the wash is clean. So this should be it. As we need some more time for this to dry. Led me clean my valid. I prefer a glass palette because it keeps my colors from getting to light. The moment it starts running Puma edge, I know that I've added too much of water. What I'll be doing is I'll be painting this water now. And then the deflections on both these mountains. And then I'll paint this tree and its deflection because I want the reflection of this mountain to be clean. And if I paint the 21st, then it will interfere with that process of painting the reflection here. So in watercolor, you have to always remember what is going to be the sequence, which is going to be the best approach for that that painting. There's no one sequence which works for every painting. So I'm mixing cobalt blue and some creams in Lake. And I won't do that. Maybe I'll add a bit of green or yellow to it, make it slightly greenish. And I also want to keep some Keep the water dark towards the bottom of the painting and light towards the top. So let me, let me work this in. So I want to keep these. I should have mixed more color because it's all. Now that I have a gap in painting, the color will look different. But that's okay. I'll leave it at that. And wait for this to dry again. I'm not worried too much of this part because it's anyway going to have the reflection of the tree. And so this is some imperfection in the paper which is creating this problem, but I'll leave it at that and tackle it later. Let's see what I can do there. And now I'll switch to us around and smaller brush. And I want to paint the reflections of these two mountains. And what I'll do is try to use the same color because I'm leaving one more layer of the same paint or same colour here. It will create a different look, even though it's the same color. This won't happen in any opaque medium, but since I'm using watercolors are transparent manner, that trick should work. Let's see, let's see how much dry this is thing. It's dry enough for me to paint the reflection. I also don't want the reflection to be too crisp, aged. And some more blue would know. This deflection. I darken, this, suggests some ripples here and there. And for that I need to extend this reflection out. At some places. What I don't want to overdo that. I'll darken this part of the reflection for this hill later on. Once this is try and maybe I can pick up some colors to make sure that this reflection goes in knowledge to light for me to do that, not attempt. And now what remains as, as I realized that I had painted this part later. It would have been much more cleaner, but then it's not a problem at all. I mean, sometimes you have to live with what is there. And you can see that this brushstroke, which I did last, has created this kind of effect. And what I should have avoided is that it should have had less amount of water in it. So with every watercolor painting, you learn something new. And that's what I'm doing. Let's see now, if this is dry enough, I should I should have left some or I could have left some gap for the for the tree. Because I want that color to be slightly lighter. But this also seems to be working. So no problem there. As I go towards this side, I'll add more blue to it because I am showing light is coming from this side. So I'll start adding some dark so that the tree looks dark on this side. And the trees also bottoms of the trees or the foliage near the bottom of the tree receives less light because of the shadow falling from the top. So that's one of the reasons why the bottom portion of the trees is much more darker. Now I want to show some shadow, but I think I can paint one mode shrub here. Since I have the green already with me. It will also give some more realism. I'm adding the red so that I can make the green dark. And, and also paint the reflection. Since I have the green and the deflections are generally lighter than the object itself. So I'll be making the colour thin. And let's see how it goes. And I want to paint the deflection from here. So till here the, there is land. And painting the deflection here now. Some land here. And the reflection will go down. So it will anyway, be outside the frame of the painting. And I want this reflection to have some, because this is very close to the shore. It kind of has more repulsive to it. That's enough to suggest. Let me try picking up some color here. I think I'll be able to do that more clearly when the paper is dry or this color is dry. Add some dark places. At least near the place where the reflection starts. And I use this same kind of green. Let's see how it works for deflection of this hill. I'm using a thin seems to be okay. I might add some details to this hill looking too pale and not so descriptive. For lack of a better word, that mixing some green. And I want it to be dark green. And let's see if we can add some. I don't want this brush to be too wet. I'm just wiping out extra color. And because it is slightly closer to where we are standing as a viewer of this scene, we might be able to see some some trees more clearly then this mountain. But I don't want to overdo that mean this reflection of these trees on so and because I wanted a slightly darker on this side, from compositional perspective, I want this area to be slightly dark. So I'm adding few trees at the bottom of the hill. Maybe a similar one here. And that also will help me. Alright. I suggest at least some reflection on those trees. That's enough for uniform nutrients for this hill. Now I'll add some shadow and maybe, and add some dots here. On this smaller brush. I can add some details though. I don't want to go overboard. All Lou, any details? That's enough, I guess. Enough of those tiny details. No, I'll make the shadow color. I want a brown again. So I'm doing adding all three colors, but I'm just wearing the proportions. There'll be more reds and yellows and some blue, but make it dark. So this is a dark brown color, which is the shadow color. Color of the shadow when it falls on this part of land mass. And I can use that same thing to suggest some dead shadow on the ground itself. And it'll be a shadow here also, this tree or shrub. And also to suggest some dimension to this part of landmass. I have diluted this same color and I'm using it on the land mass like this. So that there are some shadow areas to the ground. There are some areas where the light is fitting bright. So I think that's, you know, and I might go and meet this shadow a bit dark, then what it is right now. At least in some places. I'm adding that color again. And I can turn on a light. I would like to add some more dark accents on this tree because I want that tree to pop. But this color is still a bit wet, so I will have to wait for. Now. Let's see if I can pick up some colour from this reflection like this. And not overdo it. Actually I did more harm than a added to it. So it's easy to get carried away and do too much. Ideally, I would have liked some more reflection or some more of this color to show here. But since I've placed the tree so close to the landmass and this this landmass. And I won't be able to show that, but it would have given it some additional punch. And I might, let's see if I need to add some reflection of this tree, this landmass though it will not be very much suggest it was the deflection. And maybe I can add a stone or a two year though. I think that's not necessary. I think this is good small painting. I'll add a few suggestions of some trees being there near the water line. And I want this to be a glaze. So again, a faint blue. And I want this to be very, very thin. That's enough of it will be even more light when it drives. What I want to have some suggestion of three being there near the shore and maybe have it soon reflection. That's enough. And let me know and some dark accents here. If I want to pop. Just because I want the color to be dark, I'm adding just because I want that color to be greenish, adding yellow. Otherwise, I just need some, some dark color. And I will derive receded. So then I get some kind of texture also. I guess that's enough. And some places, it's easy to do anything in painting. So that's it. Now let me remove the tape and see how it looks. I hope you like it. Let me zoom in for you if you see this painting more clearly. So that's about it.