Underwater Life

by Mike "Morphd" Montgomery
(Fort Worth, TX)

Underwater Life

Underwater Life

In keeping with my love of diving, snorkeling, and the way water reflects light above and below water line I found this photo reference that summed it up perfectly and painted it.


I simply love reflections and refraction of light, especially in the ocean. I have seen this view many times, however lacking an underwater camera I am dependent on others who share my visions through photography and I paint altering to my way of view based on them.

I was in dire need of a nice long settle into a painting session, not worrying about time spent. I came across this photo and settled in. Though it took less time than planned (around 4 hours and 3 sessions) I enjoyed getting away from the hurried simplistic paintings I have been spending my time on lately. This was a nice refreshing break.

You can see Mark's techniques all over this one. I really got into the glazing which really pulled it together.

Now on to the next.

Comments for Underwater Life

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Nov 01, 2015
Well done! NEW
by: Linda

Wow! I love this. It is vibrant and lively showing movement, reflections and everything that shows its underwater. Terrific!

Sep 07, 2015
Love it NEW
by: Tracey Lee D

This is great - love it!

Sep 02, 2015
Underwater life NEW
by: Lavinia

Well done with the underwater painting, have you seen Phillip Grey underwater scenes. Happy Painting.

Aug 27, 2015
answers to questions NEW
by: Morphd

Thanks all.

The techniques were using the gradation for the water. Then the layering glaze for the water patterns where light refracts from above. Then several dry brush and glazes over the reflections on the surface of the water, reflecting back what is directly under the surface itself. Could be the light refraction, fish, or the various items on our snorkeler.

This particular painting was repainted due to my hasty decision to varnish it before thoroughly dry. If you like to seal your paintings, you better wait several days (Mark suggests 48 hours) before you put it on as it will "Unlock" the interactive paint. In the end I think I have a better painting as I took slightly different approach, but it was very devastating to be so happy with a painting and mess it up within hours of pronouncing it done. :)


Aug 25, 2015
Nice NEW
by: Mark Waller.

Nicely done, Mike. Love it.

Aug 12, 2015
Great painting NEW
by: Matt

Great painting. I love the colour and the lighting effects on the arm. And to turn that out in 4 hours is extra impressive :) would like to know what techniques you used

Aug 12, 2015
Great Job NEW
by: Bonnie

I love how the fish are such a part of the water. They seem to simply emerge and then fade back into the water again. Love the movement and activity in the piece. The point of view is also very unique. Nice work!

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