I watched Bob Ross a lot as a kid. He was a master at simplifying painting techniques. One technique in particular was how he created reflections in water. He seemed to be able to create them with just a few brush strokes which got me thinking if I could apply his same techniques digitally in Photoshop. The above image was my test image to experiment with getting the “Bob Ross” water look. I didn’t have time to put together an in-depth explanation of the process, but I’m pretty happy with the result and hope to put a tutorial together soon. I added some screen shots below showing the basic workflow.
Kerkythea base rendering
In Photoshop, I applied a motion blur to the water reflection
After the motion blur, I applied a few more blurs, then went in with the smudge tool.
After I got the water looking the way I wanted, I quickly threw in some grass. GRASS TUTORIAL HERE
I then added some trees in the background and foreground to give depth.
While it’s easy to apply a ripple bump map and get the all-to-familiar rendered water look, there is something nice about a manually illustrated water reflection. I will have to go back and dust off my old Bob Ross painting kit and see what other techniques I can extract for architectural illustrations.