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What Color to Paint your river base?

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June 7, 2013 3:41 PM

Well I have the the river base done and I painted the shores a tan and put some rocks down. Then I painted the rest of the river base black. But it does not look right. What colors should I use to to show a depth perspective from the tan shore to the center of the river?

Anyone have any photos?

Thanks for the help.

 

 

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June 8, 2013 11:32 PM

I plan to paint the middle of my river a dark olive green.  It will get lighter towards a tan color near the edges.  

 

For my shallow creek I plan to paint the bottom a brown color and have the same color from edge to edge.  

 

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June 9, 2013 6:06 PM

I think the above post is on the right track.  I painted the center of my pond black, and it looks too dark.  Gradually adding white to the paint as you approach the shore should take care of it.

 
 
 
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June 9, 2013 8:30 PM

There was a youtube video from the old DIY show about model railroading. Deep water was raw umber fading to paynes gray (looks almost dark blue after application) to a tan/light brown shoreline. The key was to fade the colors together using water based acrylics. Looks quite good when completed.

 

Rich

 
 
 
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June 9, 2013 8:57 PM

Originally Posted by richabr:

The key was to fade the colors together using water based acrylics. 

Bingo!  Darker colors (usually browns or greens) to represent deeper parts and gradually blending to lighter earth tones as you approach the banks.  Colors also may vary a good bit depending on whether you are trying to represent fast-moving water or still water features.

 

 

Allan Miller, Editor-In-Chief O Gauge Railroading magazine

 
 
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June 9, 2013 9:37 PM

Remember that water reflects the colors of things around or above it(sky,rock, foliage) so your base color in my opinion should represent the color of what will surround the water body itself, always look to nature for the answer. And it doesn't matter whether its the ocean, lake or stream.

 

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June 10, 2013 12:59 PM

Thanks guys, keep with the photos, I will show my progress.

 

 
 
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June 10, 2013 4:21 PM

I use Krylon hunter green, good for many things from riverbeds to mountain shadows when deftly applied.
Too bad I'm such a klutz...
 
 
 
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June 11, 2013 9:08 AM

Well lets take it up a notch  by taking a scientific approach...  looking at some pictures.... Depth, sky reflection, and movement of the water plays a key role.

 

 

 

08WV-1146-Potomac-River-BO-Railroad

288px-Waikato_river_750px

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albany-ga-dougherty-county-flint-river-railroad-trestle-georgia-florida-railway-picture-image-photo-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2012

altamaha-river-railroad-trestle-bridge-pass-through-steel-frame-photograph-photo-picture-pic-image-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-glynn-county-ga

Androscoggin_River_Railroad_Bridge,_Brunswick,_Maine_-_20080921

Brazos_River_railroad_bridge_Waco_TX

Changshou_Yangtze_River_Railroad_Bridge

 

 
 
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June 11, 2013 11:01 AM

For deep water, I use 3:3:1 mixture of black, dark blue, and dark green oil-based.  For shallow, I use 1:1 mixture of  green, brown, blend the two to feather the effect.

 

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June 11, 2013 11:54 AM

Originally Posted by dk122trains:

Remember that water reflects the colors of things around or above it(sky,rock, foliage) so your base color in my opinion should represent the color of what will surround the water body itself, always look to nature for the answer. And it doesn't matter whether its the ocean, lake or stream.

Bingo!  Your water must reflect the landscape it flows thru.

 

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June 11, 2013 12:26 PM

IMG_3316LR

 

I used paynes gray in the center and blended and feathered it out with yellow ochre and tan colors for this shallow easy flowing creek.

 
Last edited by christopher N&W June 11, 2013 12:33 PM
 
 
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June 11, 2013 12:31 PM

Originally Posted by wild mary:
Originally Posted by dk122trains:

Remember that water reflects the colors of things around or above it(sky,rock, foliage) so your base color in my opinion should represent the color of what will surround the water body itself, always look to nature for the answer. And it doesn't matter whether its the ocean, lake or stream.

Bingo!  Your water must reflect the landscape it flows thru.

True but if you use the right type of material for your water it will reflect everything itself.  After you paint your base use a matte medium for the water. As it hardens you can brush it to create movement.  

 

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June 11, 2013 12:34 PM

Christopher-- very sweet!!
 

John Albee

 
 
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June 11, 2013 12:46 PM

Originally Posted by christopher N&W:

IMG_3316LR

 

I used paynes gray in the center and blended and feathered it out with yellow ochre and tan colors for this shallow easy flowing creek.

Wow! Now that is great river modeling. can you tell us how you modeled the water as well?

 

 
 
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June 11, 2013 1:08 PM

Originally Posted by J Daddy:

Well I have the the river base done and I painted the shores a tan and put some rocks down. Then I painted the rest of the river base black. But it does not look right. What colors should I use to to show a depth perspective from the tan shore to the center of the river?

Anyone have any photos?

Thanks for the help.

 

 

Picture 032

Picture 034


By the way....awesome bridge!

 

Ride The Reading Lines! TCA LCCA

 

 The Reading U36B

 

 

 
 
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June 11, 2013 3:09 PM

Thanks O-guager, yes that was a whole 'nother' thread, used to be called the 'leap of faith'. It took a brave man on the throttle to come down a 3 percent grade at speed with 25 die-cast two bay hoppers and take the 072 curve with out breaking a sweat!

Especially w/o cruise control! But all locomotives will pass with ease.

 

 
 
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June 11, 2013 7:07 PM

Amazing work! This is what makes this forum great! Talented people sharing their technics, I'm looking forward to installing a lake. This forum and its participates are my number one resource. Big thanks! 

 
 
 
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June 11, 2013 9:53 PM

Christopher:   A tip of the hat for that scene. Every once in a while one comes across an image that you have to look hard at to tell it is a model.  That picture is one of them. Great work!

 

--pete

 

 

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And better friends I'll not be knowing;

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June 12, 2013 11:36 AM

Ok, so lets look at the scene I am going to work on soon. 

This was a phase one area on the layout that I knew I would come back and adjust:

 

These shots show that areas of the sky are too dark. Below the upper bridge:

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So next I attempted to adjust the lighting above this area:

 

 

 

 

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This was the best I could do lighting wise, and I realized that I may need helper lights to take photos in this area.

 

Next was the lower deck bridges... the Gargrave track ties seem too big. Any votes for going with Atlas here? If I do than I should get rid of the 1X2 inch deck bridge base that is just painted black... it fools the eyes but does not let light through to the creek.

 

 

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June 12, 2013 1:18 PM

Originally Posted by christopher N&W:

IMG_3316LR

 

I used paynes gray in the center and blended and feathered it out with yellow ochre and tan colors for this shallow easy flowing creek.

Chris you've perfectly captured the look.  If I didn't know better I'd say you've found my super secret smallmouth bass stream.

 

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June 12, 2013 2:05 PM

Thanks for the comments, guys.
 
J Daddy,
I built the shorelines then poured very wet plaster in there for the water and let it dry. I painted it all with gesso to seal it. Then I painted the water area all paynes gray and let it dry. Then I painted it all very wet paynes gray again and feathered the yellow ochre and tan colors from the shorline into the middle while wet. Keep cleaning your brush after drawing it from light areas to dark. The water area mostly changed to a brownish, greenish color. For the shiny part I used layers of Polyeurathane which is pretty stinky, but you could use any of the other shiny products out there.
 
 
 
Originally Posted by J Daddy:

I used paynes gray in the center and blended and feathered it out with yellow ochre and tan colors for this shallow easy flowing creek.

Wow! Now that is great river modeling. can you tell us how you modeled the water as well?

 
 
 
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June 12, 2013 8:36 PM

Instead of sky behind the bridge, you might want to experiment with a mirror. That's what I did in a similar situation:

 

mirror

 

mirror1

 

--pete

 

 

My heart is warm with the friends I make, 

And better friends I'll not be knowing;

Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,

No matter where it's going.

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June 12, 2013 11:40 PM

That is seriously some of the best water modelling I've ever seen.
 
Originally Posted by christopher N&W:

IMG_3316LR

 

I used paynes gray in the center and blended and feathered it out with yellow ochre and tan colors for this shallow easy flowing creek.

 

Kitbashing Reading Company steam engines until the day I can build a layout.  Sometimes I do custom work for others.

 

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June 13, 2013 8:40 AM

That is seriously some of the best water modeling I've ever seen.

 

 

I would heartily concur...

 

We have an old MRR book with an American Flyer locomotive on the cover that I had as a boy. I remember their illustration of cutting a hole in the table and building a 'bowl' using paper strips attached to the underside of the rim. It was painted, a stick or two was added for a sunken log, and then a piece of glass was placed over it with the shoreline molded in plaster.  Looked good to me then!

 

 

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June 13, 2013 11:51 AM

Originally Posted by Avanti:

Instead of sky behind the bridge, you might want to experiment with a mirror. That's what I did in a similar situation:

 

mirror

 

mirror1

Thanks for the tip however my shelf is only 24 inches wide in this area so I tried adding a mirror and angled it a bit down, however you still see yourself in it! So I am stuck with the sky back ground.

BTW I like the PW trains and scale scenery mix... great job.

 

 
 
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June 23, 2013 7:04 PM

JDaddy, I start off with a dark green acrylic in the middle of the river, lake etc. with a dark blue next to the green and then lighter blues as you work towards the shore. I apply the paints when they are still wet so that they blend into each succeeding coat. When all done I used Realistic Water by Woodland Scenics...it's great stuff. I hope the pictures help. The little ripples on my river are from Water Effects also from Woodland Scenics.

 

 
 
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June 23, 2013 9:57 PM

I use a dark green for my meandering river.  If your river is narrow it won't reflect much sky to be blue and if it is line with grass and trees it will look more natural to be dark green, or a brownish green.

.....

Dennis

 

I'm retired. Now I work at being a pain in the butt.

 
 
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June 28, 2013 10:14 PM

This is a skill I wish I had the patience to practice 20 times before I used it. I have tried browns, greens & greys with poor results. This last work I read all the articles and used shades of black. It worked fine for what I needed. I also like to build as much as I can on the "work bench" so you can see how I slid the river into place below the scenery and blended.

P5030107

P1020471

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P1020489

 
 
 
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June 30, 2013 2:01 PM

I have two ponds on my layout.  The one that I like the best features blue water.  I wanted to try and mimic the High Sierra lakes surrounded by granite.  My other pond is black fading to green and then brown.  It sort of looks like the ponds near where I live, but is dark and lacks pizzazz.

 

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June 30, 2013 9:08 PM

Originally Posted by christopher N&W:

IMG_3316LR

 

I used paynes gray in the center and blended and feathered it out with yellow ochre and tan colors for this shallow easy flowing creek.

That scene is so beautiful, as others have said, that I found myself, when I first saw it, searching excitedly over the entire vista trying to figure out if it were real or craftwork!!! Frankly, the explanation by you notwithstanding, I'm still not sure! Wow. You are a very gifted modeler, Christopher. Everything in that scene makes you hear it, smell the fragrances, and feel the coolness. Wow.

FrankM

 

P.S. I'm a little hesitant, now, to show these examples of a shallow, edge-of-a-city effluence I crafted but do so trusting it helps answer the original inquiry, too.

IMG_4988

 

IMG_4991

 

IMG_4992

 

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