Birds of Michigan: Canadian Geese, oil, 16 X 20 (c)2014 YeshuasChildArt
I finished the painting of the Canadian Geese, and decided to break this down into a lesson in how to paint reflections.
First the paints: I use Winsor and Newton artist grade oils. For this painting, the palette I used was: ultramarine blue (deep); burnt sienna, yellow ochre, alizarin crimson, cadmium red medium, cobalt blue, black, titanium white, cad. yellow light, and sap green.
How I created the water reflections:
1. First, I blocked in the main (medium value) water, using mixes of the blues. It looked like a big blue square of varying shades, with the geese lightly sketched in with burnt sienna.
2. Next, I blocked in the geese main colors.
3. I waited a day for the canvas to dry. This is important, for the glazes to not mix in too much.
4. I then mixed my blues back up, with varying amounts of titanium white; I also added just a hint of pthalo green to create a pretty cerulean. I then took a medium sized brush with a fine point, and “swiped” this glaze lightly over the deeper blues. I then took my deeper blue mix from the previous day, to reinforce the darker parts of the waves.
5. I let the water dry for another day; and worked on the geese. When dry, I then painted in the reflections, remembering that light colors reflect darker, and dark colors reflect lighter on water. I created a mix of burnt sienna, yellow ochre and cad. yellow light in varying mixes for the highlights; and burnt sienna and ultramarine blue for the darks. The final highlights had a hint of titanium white added to the light mix, and were added sparingly. This all took time, to glaze lightly over with a small brush.
6. Once the geese and water were done, I then finished the background. I added a few reeds for interest; with several falling over and pointing to my center of interest – the geese.
I hope this is helpful! I would love to see how others approach this as well.