Working on the bridge scene

Simulating water

Have you ever wondered about how to create a realistic looking water scene, like a medium-sized stream…

… I might have a how-to for you.

We start off modeling a smooth river base. I have a plywood sheet as a base and smoothed it out with plaster putty. Little sanding to get an even surface.

After this, I primed the base with some beige acrylic paint, working in streaks along the flow direction.

After the primer dried, I applied the water shading. I used Burned Umber, Raw Umber and Light Ocher and dabbed the colors on the base with a fine sponge, starting with the Light Ocher from the river seams.
Working towards the middle switching from Raw Umber to Burned Umber.

With the acrylics dried I started to create the water surface with a glossy potch medium.
Using a wide soft brush and working in thin layers from the seams towards the middle and from the back to the front – it starts to create some minor waves and ripples. I applied several layers, each after the previous has dried.

For some more depth in the waves, I applied one layer of a thicker potch medium in lines between both seams. For this I use a smaller brush and spread out the line of potch medium to the back and front a bit, keeping the line visible.

I finished the water with two additional layers of glossy potch medium to smooth out some ripples from the prior step and recreate the glossy surface.

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