How can I cap­ture the move­ment and en­ergy of a wa­ter­fall?

Eva Hughes, Ger­many

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation Artist Q & A -


Peter replies

There are many dif­fer­ent wa­ter­falls, of all shapes and sizes. Pho­tog­ra­phers will of­ten use a slightly longer ex­po­sure time to achieve an ethe­real look with the im­pres­sion of move­ment. In con­trast, with a short ex­po­sure the pho­tog­ra­pher can cap­ture the wa­ter as if it were frozen in time. Both tech­niques can be beau­ti­ful and in­ter­est­ing to recre­ate on the dig­i­tal can­vas.

As with any paint­ing, I make sure that I’ve got as much ref­er­ence im­ages as I need to paint my wa­ter­fall. I soon no­tice that the wa­ter reaches the edge of the wa­ter­fall and then falls in an arc, dur­ing which it will start to break apart. It will de­pend on the height of the fall, but most of the time it will turn to white wa­ter as it de­scends. When it hits the bot­tom of the wa­ter­fall it will splash, caus­ing mist and wa­ter to be thrown up­wards.

I also need to make sure that the wa­ter­fall fits in with its en­vi­ron­ment, make sure that it falls where it should, and cre­ate a pleas­ing ar­range­ment of rocks and cliffs. I gather a ref­er­ence for these ar­eas as well.

I’m us­ing Corel Pain­ter X3, and I use tex­tured brushes to give a good in­di­ca­tion of the wa­ter break­ing apart.

I chose to paint a smaller wa­ter­fall with a short drop. Of course, this is just one kind of wa­ter­fall, so look at lots of ref­er­ence for oth­ers.

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