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Friday, November 13, 2009

How to Paint a Waterfall

This project can be done with several mediums. Sometimes my students work with acrylic on strong brown paper. Other times we paint with oil on canvas. The first step is to paint the entire background a dark blue or brown if it isn't already. Then use a fan brush to create the waterfall. I point out to the students that the brush always has to be held at the same angel. A sideways stroke will create a thin line like I use for the pools of water. A vertical stroke will create thick lines to create the waterfall effect. Remind the students not to overdo it. They should use only one stroke for each section.
Then we fill in dots for brightly colored leaves. It's good to have a photograph of a tree in the fall. The colors are slightly separated into sections. Otherwise it looks more like rainbow confetti. After a lot of color is filled in, then we add dark branches in and out of the leaves. Don't forget the splash of the waterfall. I also added mist by very lightly adding white paint when the first layer was dry.

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