Rippled Water Exercise: #1

I am not a fan of this painting at all, mostly because I don’t like the subject. It’s a beautiful scene, it’s just not my taste. Still, I am learning a lot as I go through this book.

The main goal of this exercise is to get the ripples water right. I actually think I did a halfway decent job at that. Unfortunately, the perspective is wrong – big time. I think I did a great job on perspective for everything g except the gondolier, and the gondola. It’s HUGE, the Gondolier is HUGE, and I think he’s drunk because he’s clearly going to run into that building.

Aside from that mistake, I’m actually pretty happy with this. It was really fiddly, given the number of surfaces to paint and the tricky perspective. This exercise is supposed to focus on painting ripples water, but I honestly spent so much time fiddling with windows that I sort of lost sight of the water.

There are a few things I like here:

1 the ripples in the lower right. I finally found the right time to add the darker strokes to get the effect Ron showed. It’s so funny how long it takes to get good at laying down a single stroke. Ron makes it look so effortless, but there is a lot of practice there. I still have a long way to go, but getting a feel for the timing is helpful. The paper really needs to be a minute in front of dry.

I like the posts in the water. I didn’t get the posts as detailed as in Ron’s example, but I just wanted to simplify them.

I like the domes, just a few strokes to paint the building. That’s all it takes.

The buildings took forever, but overall I like them. I think my favorite part of the buildings is the textured feel I got by whisking the brush across the surface for the final glaze. 

It also took a long time to sketch out the perspective, and I definitely used a ruler to get that part right. I’m glad I did because tunnel vision would have easily made it impossible to paint the perspective correctly.

I like the near flag. Making the fabric feel folded was as easy as adding a drop of saturated pigment to the spot where the shadows should be.

The reflections – I’m not sure about them yet. I need to look at this one again later.

The sky I like. I think I’m confident now in saying I know how I like to paint a sky.

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