Painting the water in Venice

Venetian canal : Painting the water in Venice

The water is Venice is a slightly turquoise green color which I mix with Cobalt Turquoise and Raw Umber. When painting the water in Venice however you also have to take into account reflected colors and the amount of light hitting the water. The color of the water in shadow or in an overcast day and vary.

After mixing my colors to a milky consistency, I pick up a little of the mix in my brush and then dip it slightly in clean water. This dilutes the mixture which I then use to start painting the distant water. I then use the full strength mixture from then on. I use the side of my round brush when painting this as I want to create a bit of a dry brush effect so that I leave some sparkles on the water.

While the water is wet I drop in slight reflections of the buildings – not too strongly however as I want to retain the green color of the water. I also drop in a hint of the sky pink and Cad Orange color (not critical but it is a nice touch). Furthermore, while the water is just damp I put in the distant shore around the Customs House and Santa Maria Della Salute. I also put in some hints of the timber poles which the gondolas tie up to.

I also painted the part of the island sticking out behind the Customs House on the left hand side of the structure (this could have been painted at any time).

You can see this step finished in Figure 9. Let it dry.

Painting the water in Venice with watercolor paints
Figure 9: Painting the water in Venice

Continue to: Painting people and gondolas with watercolor