This is an excerpt from my Artist Journal entries for the creation of the Making Waves painting. Below is from a time when I was struggling to finish the water portion of my painting.
So I think my problem is my reference photos. Or rather, that I am relying too heavily on the literal photographic reference they offer. I had made some minor changes to the tiger's positioning in the water as well as his physical shape. Also, this tiger was swimming in a zoo and there was a large concrete wall where I was standing with my camera. Because of this, the water did not flow backwards properly off the near side.
After some deliberation as how to research this, I decided to play in the bathtub. I created wakes and ripples and just watched how water moved. All in all, it really helped me sort out how to finish the water elements of this painting.
A camera is a must for me to collect the proper reference materials I need. But occasionally, I forget that I can't rely too heavily on what they show me. The camera can distort reality. It is important to be able to think for myself and to be truly observant.
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