Start by Stretching a small piece of watercolor paper (see lesson #23). Since it is already wet you don’t have to wet it again but if it is dry wet it with two coats of clear water and let it soak in a little.
Mix some paint to make an aqua color with green & blue (or blue and yellow from two primary colors) and paint across the top of your wet paper.
Now paint across the paper with blue, overlapping the aqua a little bit.
Then under the blue with purple (blue & red primary colors), overlapping just a little.
Let it dry. You may aid the drying process with a hair blower.
Near the top of your paper paint in a skinny streak of aqua.
Soften the sharp edges with your brush dampened with clear water. Repeat with multiple skinny streaks of aqua (and soften edges).
It’s more controllable to do just a few streaks at a time because you want the streak to stay wet until you get the sharp edges softened.
Change color with blue streaks just a little wider, below the aqua streaks. Soften the edges. As you work down and get closer to the bottom of your paper, and closer to the viewer the streaks should get wider. Think of size and what we learned about perspective in previous lessons.
Change your color to purple and repeat the above process with streaks that are just a tad bit wider. Always soften edges. Let it dry thoroughly.
Now we are ready to scrape glistening light reflections on the surface of the water. (As a last thought, we will be painting in a setting or rising sun just above where we started our aqua streaks). Begin gently scratching off steaks of paper just above the top edge of some of the streaks. Make the scrapes longer and wider as you go down to the bottom of your painting.
Brush off the debris as you go.
Now I’m scraping a half circle that represents the sun just above where the aqua streaks begin, to reveal the white paper underneath. You can also paint this circle with clear water and blot the paint away.
And I am painting in a yellow-orange sun. I’m also adding some yellow-orange paint in some of the reflections I just scraped in. I just make sure I leave a lot of white scraped areas without color.
There you have it! You can use your creativity to experiment with a moon, using only dark blues and grey-blues and leaving the half circle white instead of yellow (and no yellow reflections in the water. In that case the area above the water should be very dark blue, almost black (you can make black with a lot of blue and a little red and yellow).