The Rules of Reflection in Oil Painting

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One of the most important lessons you can learn about oil paintings are the rules of reflection. Learn about the rules of reflection in oil painting with help from a graduate of the Maine College of Art in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Oil Painting Basics
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Abbeth Russel. I'm an Artist out of Portland, Maine and I'm going to teach you about the rules of reflection in oil painting. So, first take a fairly large brush; make sure it's clean and mix some white with some blue and mix a little bit with turpentine into there to make it watery. And cover the lower half of your page with horizontal brush stroke that will create water. And the way I'm getting this effect is there's kind of an uneven mixture of colors and paint and turpentine in my brush that creates this sort of watery effect. Now, I'm going to take a smaller and more square brush like this one and dip it into the black and paint some vertical lines that will look like three buildings. You can mix a little bit of turpentine into the paint if it's not fluid enough. Notice how that gives it more an inky texture. So, if I want to paint these buildings reflecting the water, I'm going to add more turpentine to the black to make them a little bit more fluid and a little bit more transparent. And then, I'm going to make mirrored lines of that skyline coming down at an angle into the water. Don't draw them coming straight down or it won't really look like the right perspective for reflection. And you can play around with making the reflection more wavy and if you want, you can drip a little bit of water over it to make it seem more fluid. My name is Abbeth and I just showed you how to paint reflections with oil paint.


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