How to Capture Natural Texture in Your Painting

Paint color, application, and brush choice all play a role in creating, or suggesting, texture. Oil and Acrylic shows you how to capture natural textures using basic techniques. Here are a few of our favorites:

waterscape-finished, Oil and Acrylic

Start with a simple sketch, and block in the sky and foliage.

waterscapes-1, Oil and Acrylic

Mix a gray-brown color to place the distant trees, darkening the mix as you move to the shadowed left side.

waterscapes-2, Oil and Acrylic

waterscapes-2-colors, Oil and Acrylic

Use the corner of the brush to add the foliage to the trees. Then paint the large tree.

waterscapes-3, Oil and Acrylic

waterscapes-3-colors, Oil and Acrylic

Paint the sandy stream bed, and add horizontal strokes of your tree bark mixes. Paint the water, the falls, and the reflections in the water.

waterscapes-4, Oil and Acrylic

Painting the Falls
Tap a bead of your light blue sky color mix on the very top of the falls with a fan brush. Wipe off the brush with a paper towel, and gently stroke some of the color to cascade over and create the waterfall. Wash the brush, load it with titanium white, and lay a bead on the areas of sun and pull down.

waterscapes-5, Oil and Acrylic

Add all of the leaves on the big tree and bushes. Be more generous with the quantity of color in this step to create texture in the foliage.

waterscapes-6, Oil and Acrylic

Use your light foliage mix sparingly for the brightest areas of sunlight.  (Opposite) Add final highlights for the grasses in the sun using a mixture of cadmium yellow light and titanium white.

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Oil and Acrylic: Waterscapes

Master the art of painting beautiful waterscapes in oil & acrylic.

As part of Walter Foster’s core How to Draw & Paint series, Oil & Acrylic: Waterscapes offers a unique approach to subject matter that has not been previously covered in other Walter Foster landscape or seascape titles. Beginning with an introduction to the necessary tools and materials, this book also covers basic color theory and painting techniques, such as creating washes, scumbling, and painting wet-into-wet, among others. Following the comprehensive step-by-step instructions, artists learn to paint a variety of beautiful waterscapes, including a breathtaking waterfall, a serene pond, a stunning lake, a rushing river, and more–from start to finish. Along the way, professional tips and tricks from an expert artist help beginning-to-intermediate artists learn how to paint reflections, suggest mood and time of day, and render a variety of natural textures, such as stone, bark, foliage, and more. Oil & Acrylic: Waterscapes is the perfect book for any aspiring oil or acrylic landscape artist.


  • Violetta Inna

    Really beautiful painting.