If you’re an avid painter, you might know that the skill of painting water is one of the most sought after in the art kingdom. In order to do that, you must consider and understand the different conditions of water that nature provides. Here they are:


  • Still water, which is water that is undisturbed by the wind and often found in small lakes and ponds.
  • Water moving lazily, the best to use when you want to paint water reflections.
  • Water ripples with more motions, which are mostly found in rivers and streams.
  • Water so disturbed that you can’t see reflections, like the sea and large lakes, which is usually caused by the wind.


Many times, artists make the choice of using water that moves lazily in their paintings, so they can avoid having to mirror the images of the surroundings onto the water (as in paintings of still water). Mirrored images seem to compete or clash with the rest of the painting.

 In other paintings, in which the water is so disturbed that you are unable to see reflections, it may be quite boring. It is advised that you use special effects (like sunlight hitting the water or bloats and other objects on the water) to add a little interest to the image.


You should use these basic guiding principles to help you paint the best water reflections you can.

  • The lighter the object is on land, the darker its reflection will be in the water.
  • The darker the object is on land, the lighter its reflection will be in the water.
  • Don’t add details to reflections, just use basic smudge of colors to depict them.
  • Avoid hard edges on water reflections.
  • Saturated colors are dulled down in water reflections, (e.g. a white object’s water reflection will look gray instead).
  • Water is denser than air so it will absorb light. In painting, you need to remember that the sky should most definitely be depicted darker on the water’s surface in your work.


Keep these tips in mind and see how your artwork’s end product improves. Get started on those water paintings today! You can get all you art supplies and products from us. We are Canada’s preferred supplier. We’re able to supply you with art and painting supplies, Bob Ross DVDs and more! Check us out and then go get started on that art project!



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