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Water Reflections – Angles and Sizes

by | Apr 12, 2022 | Art Lessons | 0 comments

Creating a painting with water reflections has some basic rules – based on the real world and some simple physics. (Really simple. No need to run away. Honest.)

Angle of Reflections in Water

Simple answer here. Down. The reflections are heading towards your eyes. The viewer is always at the bottom of the painting.

Size of Reflections

Life size! Whatever the size above the water, so it is in the water. However, this is not to say that both are given equal weight in the painting.

Example one: Standard horizon line, both above the subject above and the reflection in the water are fully visible.

Chetco River, Oregon. Notice how the two mountainous banks reflect in the water. They are each equally big in the original subject, as in the reflection. The colored lines emphasis this, and the angles are the same in each reflection, just mirror image.

Example two: Only the beginning of the trunks are visible here. Much more of the trunk reflection shows in the frame. However, it is still the accurate sizing (not bigger or smaller trunks). 


Next week’s post will be about the ripples in reflections. And, check out last week’s post about Values in Water Reflections.