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Water and oil – mixed

Learn the techniques and colours to paint scenes with realistic-looking still water, by Murray Ince

Water-mixable oils

Windermere from Waterhead , oil on canvas, 12x16in. (30.5x40.5cm).


How to observe water in seascapes and landscapes

Understand reflections and edges in reflections

Water-mixable oil techniques

I love painting with water-mixable oils and my particular favourite is Winsor & Newton’s Artisan. Of all the media, it is the easiest with which to paint realistic, that is to say believable-looking, water.

The fact that oils stay wet for a relatively long period allows us to blend colours together wet in wet, making it easier to create the subtle changes in the colour of water, especially when creating languidlooking water (as in Windermere from Waterhead, above).

Water everywhere

Water in seascape painting comes in four main obvious states: calm, with small waves, choppy and rough.

There can be other less-obvious water present, however, that forms a part of a seascape, such as wet sand, rock pools, spray, water spouts and even icebergs. There are many forces of nature that have an effect on the state of the sea at any given time, including high and low tide, tide coming in or going out, or slack water in between the tides, spring tides, neap tides, wind pushing from behind the tide or blowing against the tide, and the strength of wind in general all have an effect on the condition of the sea.

Do you need to know all of the technical aspects of the conditions of the sea to paint good seascapes? No, but close observation is the key to good seascape painting or any other form of painting for that matter.

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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the October issue of Leisure Painter. We have a fantastic array of tutorials and techniques to try in this month's issue, from how to use masking fluid with watercolour and how to fill your sketchbook, to step-by-step demonstrations in water-mixable oils, oils, drawing media, acrylics, watercolour and coloured pencils. Learn how to paint animals in wet-in-wet watercolour, draw a detailed study of a badger with coloured pencils and paint wild animals en plein air. Understand how to paint the effects of aerial perspective and how to paint portraits in miniature. This month we also have great pleasure in publishing the award-winning work from this year's Leisure Painter Open Competition. Enjoy your month of painting.