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Tiny tips: Water - Colour by Ranarh Tiny tips: Water - Colour by Ranarh
The third part about painting water. This time about its colour; since water essentially acts as a reflective surface in most paintings, it can be trickier than you think. Just going with blue to paint water isn't enough. As always, looking at references will help a great deal.
The tutorial talks about both the colour under water as the colour of the surface; the first is easier to paint as it doesn't variate as much under different lighting conditions.

Also see Part One: Water - Waves [link]


and Part Two: Water - Reflections [link]

"Ranarh's tiny tips" is a collection of iddy-biddy tutorials, each containing small bites of advice anyone can chew, aimed at beginner's level artists. They are not software-dependent. If there's a problem you have, something you feel someone should finally explain, or are just curious what I have to say on a particular artistic issue, feel free to tell me.


You'll find the whole Tiny Tips Collection, plus some full-grown walkthroughs in my tutorial section. Check out my blog and website for exclusive tutorials, walkthroughs, and tips.
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:iconakimati:
Akimati Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Thank you very much, it 's really helpful!!!
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:iconranarh:
Ranarh Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013
I'm glad to hear it. :)
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:iconakimati:
Akimati Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
:iconcutiesmileplz:
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:iconcode-koda:
code-koda Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
this whole series is really helpful, thank you! :hug: water always baffles me but you've broken it down very nicely, im not so scared to tackle it now : D
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:iconranarh:
Ranarh Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
That is the nicest thing you could've said. Thank you!
You are welcome.
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:icon8arah:
8arah Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012  Student General Artist
This is going to be really helpful for me, thank you! :D
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:iconranarh:
Ranarh Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012
You are welcome :)
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:iconaspiredwriter:
AspiredWriter Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2012
these seem like great tutorials on water (i've been to all three) can i add them to my group? i'm adding them now, you should get the requests.

also, another tutorial on water would be great: falling water (waterfalls, faucets) different intensities- for instance (as far as i've noticed) water running powerfully will look much whiter while a trickle or a slow steady stream is more clear, transparent and reflective. i'd love to know your thoughts on the matter (and maybe another lovely tutorial :aww: )
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:iconranarh:
Ranarh Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2012
I already thought about doing such a tip. It just moved a few places up in my list.
sneak peek: Next one will be "a mouthful"
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:iconaspiredwriter:
AspiredWriter Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2012
:excited:
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:icondameodessastock:
DameOdessaStock Featured By Owner May 25, 2012
Awesome :)
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:iconranarh:
Ranarh Featured By Owner May 26, 2012
Thanks! :D
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:icondameodessastock:
DameOdessaStock Featured By Owner May 27, 2012
you're welcome! :)
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:iconcleverprofilename:
CleverProfileName Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2012
Excuse me but would I follow the same pattern with a water drop?
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:iconranarh:
Ranarh Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2012
Water drops are usually even more colourless, if we are not speaking about drops of coffee or ink. A drop is more like a gem than a water surface. You will have to look out for the following:
A water drop casts a shadow on the ground on its lighted side. This is surprising, but true; after all, a water drop has thickness and blocks a little light. It also casts a smaller shadow on the ground on the side away from the light, and has a glossy, sharp highlight on the lit side.
Then refraction has to be taken into account, the effect that light appears brighter than the source because it is bundled, like with a magnifiying glass, or the patterns you see on the ocean floor in shallow water (remember that highlights can never be brighter than the light source; but refraction can bundle light and thus make spots that indeed are brighter than the source. Transparent materials like water and glass do this, as you can observe when putting a drinking glass in sunlight). Most of the time, the refracted light will appear inside the drop, raising saturation and brightness in that spot (if the light has a very low angle, the light can also be cast outside the drop).

This is all concerning a drop in a closeup. I recommend looking at some makro photos - I'm sure they're easy to find. If you need drops from further away, a small shadow on either side and a sparkly highlight will probably do. If your water is coloured, simply think about how transparent the water remains; the more particles, the less transparency.
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:iconsevenofeleven:
sevenofeleven Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2012
Thanks for the tips.
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:iconranarh:
Ranarh Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2012
My pleasure :)
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:iconchloedork:
chloedork Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2012  Student Digital Artist
This is a lovely guide!
I will definitely be referring to it.
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:iconranarh:
Ranarh Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2012
Glad to help. Thank you.
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:iconsilvermender:
SilverMender Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Gorgeous! Real thanks :D
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:iconranarh:
Ranarh Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2012
You are welcome :)
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:iconzedna7:
Zedna7 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012  Student Digital Artist
thanks for sharing :dance:
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:iconranarh:
Ranarh Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2012
My pleasure
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:iconpuush:
puush Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for these tiny tips. They really help me!
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:iconranarh:
Ranarh Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012
That's great to hear! :)
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:iconhaimokochan:
haimokochan Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2012  Student General Artist
Thank you! :D
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:iconranarh:
Ranarh Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012
Welcome!
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:iconkateboat:
Kateboat Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is very helpful, and your work is lovely!
But I can't help but say that water really does have a colour. ^^; It's very, very slightly blue.
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:iconranarh:
Ranarh Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012
Thank you very much.

It is indeed so, that the chemical substance water is colourless. There are however a lot of factors that can make it appear to have a colour, especially minerals solved in the water can give it a tint. Tiny particles in water in front of a dark background will make it appear blue, like blue eyes don't actually have a colour but have tiny particles in front of the black background.
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:iconkateboat:
Kateboat Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Really? Wow. You learn something new every day :D
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:iconjornas:
jornas Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
very informative. great work!
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:iconranarh:
Ranarh Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012
Thanks for the compliment! :)
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:iconregklubeck:
regklubeck Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I want a font of your handwriting!! :D :clap:
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:iconranarh:
Ranarh Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012
Well you can have it: Poseidon AOE -- I'm layouting my tutorials in GIMP
(You really DON'T want my handwriting ;))
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:iconregklubeck:
regklubeck Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! I use GIMP, too. :D
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:iconregklubeck:
regklubeck Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Uh, unless of course it IS a font, in which case nevermind. :blush:
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:iconmosobot64:
mosobot64 Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2012  Student General Artist
Good advice!
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:iconranarh:
Ranarh Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012
Glad to hear!
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