Fun Lake Scene Teaches Watercolor Techniques For Water & Reflections
Step 1: Sketching The Scene
To start, use a ruler and pencil to draw a 1/2″ border around the edges of your paper, giving you a margin for any future framing you may get when your painting is done. This “window” will help determine what ends up inside your composition.
Begin your composition sketch by lightly drawing a horizon line where the lake meets the sky, some shrubs on the right side of the bank, and a large tree in the mid- to bottom-left corner to serve as a foreground element. Complete the land on both sides of the lake by framing the water with a slight diagonal line, then add a forest in the background to increase the sense of depth in your sketch. Next, place a rowboat in the middle of the water near the foreground tree, paying attention to the placement of the surrounding foliage and the overall size of the lake. Add additional details such as the shapes of “windows” in the trees created by gaps in the branches, a pole in the water to tie the rowboat to, and the reflections of the boat and trees. Note that all the reflections should be mirror-images of their counterpart.
One important tip to remember is that you’re trying to create shapes that are visually engaging and interesting, not drawing every single detail as realistically as possible. But when you’re satisfied with the sketch, you’re ready for the fun part: painting!
Below is a close-up of Steve’s compositional sketch: