Whilst initial experiments with adding peat brown ink to Woodland Scenics Realistic Water looked promising, the more I looked at the mockup I made the less convinced by the colour I was. Where the water was thin it was very purple, and even the deeper batches showed shades of purple in certain lights. Now the colour of peaty water can vary a lot, but it's never purple, so a rethink was needed.
So I've now put together a second mockup using the rock painting technique I settled on along with a new approach to the water.
Personally I think this looks an awful lot better. It's not perfect, but it's better. It's a bit more complex to produce but I think it's worth it.
Firstly the bottom of the stream is painted brown. I actually used a thick wash of burnt umber along with some black to paint over the rock so that there was variation in the colouring. Once this had dried I sealed the surface with scenic cement before pouring a thin layer of Realistic Water. Once the water had cured I then used the burnt umber and black washes again to paint the surface, focusing on adding more in the middle of the stream to make it look deeper. I then added a second layer of water and washes and then a final layer of water. The Realistic Water is actually quite runny and getting it to stay on the different levels was tricky. As there were no nice straight surfaces I could add masking tape to to hold the water I used water effects to add a small lip to hold the water in place. As these are designed to go together you can't see any joins once everything has cured.
At this point I have very still water so the next stage is to use the Water Effects to add turbulence to the surface, especially over the drops. I need practice to get this looking more natural but in general I'm happy with what I added. The problem though is that turbulent water tends to be white(ish) but the Water Effects dries clear. So the next step was to dry brush some ivory onto the surface features to make them stand out. I decided the ivory was a little bright though so toned it down with yet another a wash of burnt umber. The colours now looked fairly good but had dried fairly matt and looked wrong against the very shiny water. Fortunately this is easy to solve by painting a very thin layer of Realistic Water over the painted areas to give the final result.
Personally I think this looks a lot better, but do tell me if you think otherwise.