Sunday, September 19, 2010
I love painting sunsets, even if they are considered trite! In high school an art teacher drummed this into us. In fact he wouldn't let any of his students paint or draw horses, cars or sunsets. I have to say that it took me nearly 40 years to break free of his prejudices. I'm over it now! In fact, the challenge is to paint sunsets that aren't trite. For instance, I make sure the ball of the sun is NOT located in the center of the composition. Ever. Most photograph are taken this way, but I always turn so the sun is off-center, as I did here. I hope you have a feeling that the hot core is on the far right. I also add some medium colors to indicate shapes in the ground plane, rather than let the ground be a black void. Cameras average the light and turn what's in shadow to inky black, but when I'm standing outside at sunset I can see all the colors and shapes in the reflected light.
This one is on 300 lb. Arches cold press watercolor paper, which is a wonderfully responsive surface for such a subject. You can see I used some wet in wet techniques, as well as a bit of dry brush in the foreground. Hope you like it!