Water, Water Everywhere


How many times have you seen an image that is a lake, ocean or river scene but haven't been quite sure how to bring that image to life? Today we are having a look at how to colour water!



Colouring Water Tips

  • The water will always be darker than the sky, usually having the same undertone, but darker and more grey than the sky.
  • Reflections follow the direction of the water but aren't blended.
  • Reflections are not crisp and distort as they move away from the image.


Step 1

Stamp image in Memento Tuxedo Black onto X-press It blending Card. When colouring water, it's good to colour the rest of your image first.  Colour reeds using YG25, G24, G28, the ground with E43 and the Swan with C0, C1 and Y38.  Colour the reflection of the swan with C1.

Step 2

Lay down the base colour of the water using B21, leaving white spaces for ripples and highlights.

Step 3

Start adding lines of colour in the water (always going with the flow of the water) using B32 and B34 and darken edges (or horizons).

Step 4

Add a little B0000 in the highlight areas and B45 to deepen the ripple areas.  You can play with all of the above colours until you are happy with the finished result.

Step 5

Reflections are a shade less intense (or more grey) than the original depending on lighting, here the reed reflections have been done using G21 and a flicking action.

Step 6

Use the Opaque White with the extra fine brush to add highlights of white on your image. 

The finished result!

Try using different combinations for varying looks - try light blues, or even much more grey-blues to give the impression of an overcast sky.  You could even change it up and venture into the BG colours for an aqua water effect.  In the last image, the colours used were B0000, B000, B00, B02, B05, B93.

Posted by Kathy

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