Workshop: Tumbling water with Randy Hale

Join watercolour artist Randy Hale for this in-depth look at painting tumbling water. A 2-3 hour workshop, broadcast live from Colorado on 17 June 2021.

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See reference and recommended materials below:


In this 3-hour paint-along workshop you will be painting a waterfall tumbling over a rock face into a deep dark pool. As you work with Randy on the tumbling water scene you’ll discover the secret in how to make still water feel reflective and wet. On the other hand - moving, tumbling water is not reflective - it is turgid, fast and energetic.


Moving water often looks white and foamy - best depicted as a strong negative shape where the painter protects the white of the paper. Deep darks and dramatic value contrast between terrain and the waterfall work together to make an ideal centre of interest. To insure backgrounds recede without upstaging the painting’s focal point, far off terrain ought to be subtle and soft. A wet-in-wet technique works well in suggesting “distance” and all the ill-formed shapes that might be “suggested” off in the background. Overall, your painting’s dominant palette temperature will be cool and dark - ideal for a forest in shadow!


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Reference painting

Reference photo

Line drawing

Materials Top-Up

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Recommended materials

Watercolor paper – 140# (300 gsm), or 300# (640 gsm) cold press – my paper size will be

approx. 11”x15” (28 cm x 36 cm)...a good size for completing a painting in allotted time.

Board - lightweight rigid surface; clip / tape paper onto. Slightly larger than the paper.

Brushes – a wider “flat,” a medium-size “round,” and a “rigger.” Synthetic & natural mix

Water container - for rinsing brushes

Spray bottle – small size for fine misting

Paint palette – with mixing well and dedicated wells to squeeze pigments into. (Use better

grade pigment brands to ensure quality mixing - student grade paints are mostly synthetic

binder with very little true pigment)

Suggested pigment colors include warm & cool version of primaries + earthtones.

• Cool Yellow (cadmium light, lemon yellow) & Warm Yellow (gamboge, Indian yellow)

• Raw Siena (or Yellow Ochre) & Raw Umber

• Orange (I use Schmincke’s Transparent Orange)

• Burnt Siena (or Quinachridone Burnt Orange) & Burnt Umber

• Warm Red (Pyrol or Cadmium) & Cool Red (Alizarin, Opera, Magenta)

• Warm Violet, Cool Violet

• Prussian Blue (a deep dark)

• Ultramarine Blue & Cobalt Blue

• Lavendar (Holbein)

• Cerulean Blue & Turquoise Light

• Sap Green (warm), Veridian (cool), Cad Green Light (light apple green)

Pencil (HB or softer), kneaded eraser

Handful of tissue for blotting; soft rag – to manage amount of water on your brush