Painting reflections in still water

Ongoing at the moment is an exhibition of watercolours and pastels by Jenny Keal and myself at the Wyeside Arts Centre in Builth Wells, Powys. It covers a wide range of landscape subjects, plus a number of flower paintings, and at the moment the opening hours are mainly in the evenings when the venue is open for showing films, from 5.30 pm to 9 pm. For further information and to check opening times telephone 01982 552555

One of the watercolours on show at Wyeside is this one of Garreg-Ddu reservoir in the Elan Valley, viewed from high up on a hill. The painting illustrates well the impact of keeping reflections simple. This effect was carried out by liberally wetting the lake area with clean water, then washing in a light tone of blue-grey to suggest the general reflections of the hillsides. Then with a stronger mixture of the same colour, and hardly any water on the fine brush, the reflection shapes of the trees was painted into the still-wet surface, creating a lovely soft effect.

I then took a small flat brush and while the surface remained damp I pulled out the light reflection of the light crag, just to the immediate left of the dark reflection of the conifers. Full mirror-like reflections in still water lose their attraction because they become so detailed, so remember to keep them simple! You can see this painting in my book David Bellamy’s Mountains & Moorlands in Watercolour, and signed copies are available from our website

One thought on “Painting reflections in still water

  1. Lovely painting David, you have captured the atmosphere of the place. After painting flowers and animals I am keen to get back into landscapes. I have two of your books but may just treat myself to this one, thank you! 🙂

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