Fast forward – the trees, shrubs and rocks are all painted and all that remains is the water.
The water is the trickiest part of this painting. It is transparent enough to see the colorful rocks below the surface, yet I wanted it to look underwater and smooth as well. The first thing I did was to block in the colorful rock shapes. I then made the larger underwater rocks look 3-dimensional, keeping the colors bright.
Next, I added lots of other smaller rocks and dots to give the impression of pebbles.
More rocks, pebbles, and darkening of the shadow areas in the water, where rocks are not visible, and reflections were added to the painting.
Now for the scary part… I carefully painted thin washes over the underwater areas, using mostly greens and oranges. I paid attention to the water lines on each rock, as some were half submerged. I was cautious not to over paint. Too much painting in one area while still wet will mix the colors to a muddy brown and blur the rocks. Each wash layer was dried completely before adding another wash. A few layers of these thin washes and I was finished. Here is the final painting, entitled Emerald Oasis.