Wednesday, May 27, 2009


"Dreamer" (8x6") Oil on wood.


Mary Bullock said...

Another great one Todd! I am struggling with a painting that has water in it - I just can't seem to get it right. Can you tell me what colors you use to paint water? Thanks, :-)

Todd Bonita said...

Hi Mary,

Thank you so much for your nice comment. To tell you the truth, I struggle with water every time, I don't think there is a formula, I just try my best to paint what I see. Water can be any color, there are so many variables..a good rule is to be aware that water usually reflects the sky so it will likely have the sky color in it somewhere. There is also shallow transparent water where you are including color beneath the surface. Distant water tends to pick up more sky reflection than water that is closer to's time you're near water look directly below you and notice the color is usually richer and as you slowly gaze up toward the horizon, it's natural color gradually gets more and more bleached by the sky and atmosphere..does that make any sense? You should also consider moving water, there are so many variables here too; from subtle ripples to currents, wind blown passages, etc...The only real answer is to simply paint what you see. I sometimes video tape water and play it back slowly to try to understand it better. I also look at some painters who I think do it well like Joe McGurl. You have to really look at things you want to paint and understand them as best you can. This is what helps me anyway. I'm sorry I don't have a more concrete formula but thats how it is for me.

Thanks again, best,

Mary Bullock said...

Thanks Todd! Good advice - I will try to absorb what you said and apply it to my painting. Great idea about filming water. Have you ever thought about teaching a class on painting water? There seems to be so few artists that can do it well. You and Donald Demers are two of the best. Thanks again :-)

Todd Bonita said...


Thank you, my Gosh, Donald Demers!! I'm flattered Seriously but I'm not really in his league.

I have taught classes before but not specifically on painting water. I may teach a painting class next spring in Portsmouth.

thank you so much for your appreciation of my work and your really complimentary comments. All m y best to you,

Déjà View Designs said...

I just love your paintings but this little boat is magical.

Todd Bonita said...

Thank dreaming is a mgical state of mind as far as I'm concerned. Thanks for the comment.

m collier said...

Your boat paintings are beautiful. The water depth you achieve really draws me in. You have it all going on here. I want to find a little boat and drift for a while.

rdl said...

love the shadowy reflection!