Rowing boats | A simple exercise

This is a fairly simple exercise that is painted with only two colors: A blue color and a brown. You can choose any blue and brown. It is somewhat easier to paint this picture with a color that floats easily in water, e.g. Phthalo. Iron Blue (Prussian, Antwerp) or Indanthrone . The brown color should be an orange or reddish brown.

Use the photo as a template if you want to paint this exercise
Use the photo as a template if you want to paint this exercise

I use phthalo blue and burnt sienna, together the gray color you can mix with these colors becomes a bit greenish, you can probably see that in the painting, the whole picture is a bit green. If this is something that bothers you, choose two colors that will be more neutral together.

Step 1

Rowing boats step 1

On dry paper, the entire water surface should be painted. However, reserve the boats and the upper part of the pier. You can paint over the buoy and the bridge posts. While the paint is still wet, you can create some soft waves at the front edge of the water. You do this with a couple of quick horizontal brushstrokes, using a slightly darker color than in the water itself. Note that the water surface is not even. If you make it a little uneven, it looks more natural.

Step 2

Rowing boats step 2

Paint the boats with a brown-gray color mixture (you can use a little different mixtures so it is not just one color). Also paint the buoy and the top of the bridge. You should paint fairly bright colors, the contrast will come later. Consider this a kind of primer. Notice the narrow bright field between the right boat and the top of the pier. It is almost never good to paint dark objects close together, I (almost) always leave a small space for such surfaces, otherwise the result will be heavy and clumsy

Step 3

Rowing boats step 3

Now it’s time for dark colors, mix a dark blue-gray color of blue and brown. Paint with this mixture all the reflections in the water of boats and jetty. Also put some shadows on and in the boats. Paint very dark on the darkest parts of the bridge.

Reflections in water are just a mirror image of the object being reflected, slightly distorted due to the water surface being slightly wavy. But imagine that it is only a mirror image, not a shadow. Many people regard them as shadows and also call them shadows. But these are reflections of the object in a slightly distorted mirror.

If you want, you can also paint the small straws that grow in the water at the bottom of the picture. Maybe they add something to the picture, or maybe it’s better without them, you do as you please.

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2 years ago

Having difficulty drawing the boats

Reply to  Erik
2 years ago

Thank you, I’ll try that

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