Wednesday, January 28, 2009
A Reflection on Reflections and Ripples
When I first started this illustration I did not pay much attention to the reflections on the water surface. The water is almost perfectly flat with little to distinguish it. As I started the stippling process it became clear to me that there was not much to make the water stand out. As I looked at the photo in more detail I could see that there were some minor reflections and ripples. I had already stippled the area for some of the reflections and therefore I used the technique described a few posts back to scrape away the ink where I wanted a lighter feature. You can see this in the area underneath the heron's neck and underneath the leaves hanging over the water. I also decided to darken the shadow on the water underneath the leaves to make the reflections stand out more than in the original photo. The neat thing about the reflections is that they also give the eye a visual clue as to the location of the water's surface. For instance, the water surface is located midway between the leaf highlights and the reflection of the leaf highlights. This is a subtle effect but it goes a long way in defining this as "water" and not sand or some other smooth surface. I also decided to enhance the ripples radiating from the heron's feet. Again, this helps to define this as "water" but it also gives some action to the picture. The heron is either moving or has just stopped moving to look for a fish. Little details like this can really help to make the picture.