Some parts of this website will not work with Internet Explorer.

Please use a different browser such as Chrome or Firefox.

Back to Original

Bright Autumn Trees

Jeffth 23 Feb 2023

This is one of my favorite episodes because of the composition of the piece. I like how the foreground connects to the midground. My version ended up straying from the original a bit with the closer trees but I'm mostly happy with it. One thing I struggled with was the water. With the back pond the struggle was making it look horizontally deep and not like a wall straight up and down, and with the front pond it was tough to make it look right in general. Something to do with the little fork in the waterline. I'd love some advice on both ponds! Thanks!



Oh my goodness! What a stunning painting!

Thank you!

Really gorgeous! Love all your details!

Stunning painting, beautiful colours. I think your eye follows the path so water is peripheral.

Very good work overall, I really like the foliage of the trees.

Thank you Sandy, Rob, and Tom! It means a lot.
Rob, I really appreciate the comment about the water, thank you.

In general, is there a rule of thumb for the brightness of water? I remember reading a comment from someone (possibly SunnyLady) about how the water should be darker than the sky? Any advice on that sort of thing? Is there a hard and fast rule for still water? Thanks again everyone! Much love.

It looks like big mama tree saving baby tree that got stuck between two lakes.

Nice golden leaves ! Trees are beautifuly done.

Beautiful Jeffth!

Beautiful Jeffth!

Jeffth, you made a beautiful painting. Your grass and highlights are A+! For the water the only thing i could see to make it look more watery would be a highlight where the light source is in the back, maybe a little reflection of the leaves? In the foreground same thing. Throwing some color into the water and a light hypnotizing . I see some on the left by the bank. Throwing a tree shape in the water would give you the effect that you want maybe? Personally i like it the way you have it. That shadow you have from the tree on the path is great

Thank you Nancy and Sunny! I love the image of the big tree saving the little tree :)
KASPaint - Thank you for taking the time to analyze the my work, your suggestions make a lot of sense.
I've uploaded a photo of how light the ponds were before. If anyone has suggestions for learning perspective with water and reflections please let me know. Thanks everyone for engaging with this piece!

Jeffth, I only can share what I learnt in regards to rivers. In paintings fattest water is lightest as it reflects more sky at horizon(thus horizon color needs to be there) . Moving closer to the viewer it gets more depth and reflects sky above our head which is the darkest of the sky.

I would also say that to show distant water object less details need to be shown there such as shore lines. Imagine for a moment what size of disturbance at shore should be there so you could see it as bright white line. If it is an ocean - there is a chance of big waves on the distant shore. However at river - not really. So I usually suggest to keep shore lines at the far away shore just slightly lighter than water or fully omitting them.

In BR method he does such shore lines in white all the time, but if you are after a bit more realistic way - this will not work and will always bring the distant shore up close visually.

Fattest = furthest. Sorry for typos.

In your painting the issue as I see is not water but rather the very dark shore value (almost black color). If you lighten that up two tones it will create distance. But in the search for distance you may need to alter the trees as well. Let me try to see what I would rethink for that distant pond and give you a link to article which I will remove after you take a look at it.

Here is the link:

Would you tell me when to remove article after you read it and look at my suggestions?

Not perfect resolution of your question but hopefully will help you to move in the right direction.

flippergirlpaints Top Event Submitter

Fantastic! Very nice job with the lighting. To add to your discussion about water - in general - is that deeper water also will be darker than shallow water's reflections.

Such great advice and insight Sunny, thank you! I commented on your very thoughtful article, and I plan to use it for reference in the future.
Pam, thank you for your kind words :) Your advice about deeper water will surely prove helpful.

Sign in to leave a comment.

Not a member yet?
Join over 5000 other painters and share your paintings with the world!

Register now