Imagine a person in a bath. When they first enter the bath the water is more opaque and the parts of the body that are submerged are easier to see, although the light will refract them.
In this case the whole body must be considered when painting, but those parts that are submerged will be distorted. The reflection of the body upon the water will be minimal and not highly visible.
Once the bath has been polluted and the water is a little dirtier, the submerged half of the body is less visible, but the reflection of the person in the bath is clearer to see in the water.
In this case it's not necessary to draw the whole body in the water, but it's important to be aware of where these parts are. This line of thinking should be applied to all bodies of (and in!) water.
Words: Bill Corbett
Bill Corbett works as a freelance artist producing illustrations for media groups, public relations companies, small businesses, bands and private clients. This article originally appeared in ImagineFX issue 102.