Painting falling water can be a problem for beginners. Hence this article looks at some of the difficulties and suggests solutions. It also looks at pre-planning for such pictures and how it can help avoid problems. Useful element to get into one's paintings are dynamism and a sense of movement. In a landscape painting, the general impression can also be raised by some dramatic element. develop that approach which best seems to produce the kind of image you are trying to create. This goes for all the stages in making a painting. If, for example, you are going to be using transparent paint in the picture, rather than sketch in the shapes in the picture using a pencil, try using a small brush and a pale colour of paint. Then you do not need to worry so much about hiding the sketch lines the sketch lines, which can be an especial problem where transparent (as opposed to opaque) oil paints are being used. In passing, note that all manufacturers of good quality oil paints publish notes on the various characteristics of their oil paints, including whether or not they are transparent, semitransparent or opaque. Hence you can easily take this into account when buying your paints. Bear this in mind when buying and check, either with an assistant or, beforehand, by looking at the manufacturer's web site since the information is not always included on the tube. Also consider where you will start painting: top, bottom or somewhere in the middle. There should be a good reason for which you choose! And this will almost certainly emerge from the way you have thought about planning the picture. A problem can be to decide what to paint first: or Rocks or foliage? If you take a representational or realism approach to oil painting, you might be using a preponderance of transparent oil paints. The nature of transparent paints is that they show through the things and colour beneath them. So when you come to painting the water gushing over a cliff edge, if you are using opaque paint, you will largely cover-up anything beneath the paint, so there is little point in spending time on painting that area. See for example Falls At Richmond Castle where the fall of water is so great in some parts of the painting that the force of water covers anything that might have been painted underneath. That is not the case in the first painting mentioned above: Heyburn Wyke, Yorkshire Dales. In this case, I painted all the cliff face in first because much of it would be seen through or around the water. But also note that in "Falls At Richmond Castle" some of the water nearer to the foreground was not so dense and the underneath can be seen and did need to be painted in. If The Fall Of Water Is Less Dense… If the fall of water is less dense you might consider leaving an impression of, say, the rock surface which can be seen behind the falling water. In this case you might use Transparent White, building up the impression through a number (perhaps of five or six) thin layers, each applied when the former one has dried properly. In the two paintings mentioned here and "Heyburn Wyke" involves a much less force of water so that it was really necessary to paint in the rock face first. Here was also foliage to deal with which was not a factor in the other painting) and, after the white (actually a slightly off-white colour with the addition of a small touch of brown) was touch dry, the leaves and branches needed to be painted over the water. This kind of approach is generally useful for those parts of a waterfall where much less water is falling, or where there are splashes from where the water impacts the rocks below or even ledgers partway down. Try to get into the very good, even necessary, habit of carefully planning your painting in advance. The approach is traditional, making use of various techniques, including impasto and glazing. This link will take you to the main categories of landscapes, seascapes, snowscapes, waterscapes and still life and all are provided with free frames and fastenings.