Tutorial Notes on Painting underwater scenes

This series of underwater rays with the fluidity and transparency of water took a lot of trial and error. The way I figured it out was to do it in stages. First I painted what I remembered and with some photos of water in the tropics. I wanted to keep the paintings a bit abstract or impressionistic. I also added some metallic acrylic paints for a unique look but covered most of that up with more paint so it was subtle.  The next step was to sketch the different rays sailing under the water, over the sandy bottom. I kept adding the white reflections of the water that make triangles and shapes on everything form the rays and sand. The shadows on the sand under each ray really helped with the feeling of depth.  The last layer of course was painting over the entire paintings with the reflections of the sky on the top of the water along with little white highlights and sparkles.
This series of underwater rays with the fluidity and transparency of water took a lot of trial and error. The way I figured it out was to do it in stages. First I painted what I remembered and with some photos of water in the tropics. I wanted to keep the paintings a bit abstract or impressionistic. I also added some metallic acrylic paints for a unique look but covered most of that up with more paint so it was subtle.

ptg-progress1b

The next step was to sketch the different rays sailing under the water, over the sandy bottom. I kept adding the white reflections of the water that make triangles and shapes on everything form the rays and sand. The shadows on the sand under each ray really helped with the feeling of depth.ptg-progress2 ptg-progress2bThe last layer of course was painting over the entire paintings with the reflections of the sky on the top of the water along with little white highlights and sparkles. rays-gliding-16x40

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