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How to Make rippling water effects

Here is a great tutorial Frank has written for us. It goes hand in hand with his Harbour Diorama where he has a terrific water scene.

This tutorial is a more in-depth look at how to make the rippling water and waves.




  • PVA Glue
  • School Glue Gel
  • A Paint Brush
  • Serviettes (White Paper Napkins)
  • Paints: Blue, Green, White
  • Optional: White cotton balls to get strands of cotton.

Mix the PVA glue and the School Glue Gel 50/50 then brush it on the surface you want to be the water.


Then cover it with a layer of serviettes.

Add another coat of your 50/50 mix.



While it is still wet get the brush like the one in the photo and push paper up till you get the paper crinkling up until it looks like waves. When you are happy with it let it dry then paint the water.

Once again let it dry then use a paint brush and white paint to dry brush the the tops of the waves.

And if you want it to stand out a bit more put a thin strands of cotton wool on the top of the waves then when dry squeeze the glue on top as in photo No3

I don't brush the glue I just cover the the painted area and let it find its own level.

The whole water on the harbour cost me $2-50 .


Will's Diorama book

Check out my book on how to make fantasy and medieval dioramas. I put all my best techniques and tricks in this book! How to make Fantasy and Medieval Dioramas


The Harbour Diorama

It is a great little water scene and the largest diorama Frank has made so far. And he shows us a new (and brilliant) water making technique. The Harbour Diorama