Sunset Sky

We begin by painting the sky because it influences the light in the entire piece. So here we go. The two piles of colors at the left of my palette for the clouds are made of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White. The lower mix has a little more Alizarin Crimson mixed in. The four colors in the center are for the sun warmed portion of the sky. The darkest mix of the group is MUD + Cadmium Red Light + White. Above that is Cadmium Orange + Cadmium Red Light + White. The two mixes to the left of it are Cadmium Orange + White, one blob has more White. At the far right are Ultramarine Blue + White and Pthalo Blue + White. I had a question the other day that all of you might like to hear, “Is French Ultramarine Blue the same as Ultramarine Blue?” Yes, it usually depends on the paint manufacturer as to the name. Some use French Ultramarine Blue, others just plain Ultramarine Blue.

This early evening sky has bands of color, warmer and lighter near the setting sun and bluer as the dome of the sky extends overhead. These bands of color are painted first. The sky in the piece my client originally saw, Santorini Sunset, was totally peach colored. However Joan asked for a peach colored Bougainvillea in the foreground instead of hot pink so I’m adding some blue in the sky to give contrast.

Using a 2 inch “Bob Ross” brush I smooth the transitions between the areas of color.

Now I add the clouds. The mixture with more Alizarin Crimson is used for the clouds closest to the sun that are washed with warmth. The clouds farther away from the sun are darker. The sun is painted with a mix of White + a touch of Cadmium Yellow Medium.

The distant islands and water are blocked in, covering the major color mass. I will come back to add the detail.  The water is a muted mix of Ultramarine Blue + MUD + White. The sun shines brightly on the horizon line and catches the edges of some of the nearby clouds. Then some of the cloud color is worked into both the water and bluffs. We will work on the rest of the ocean in our next session. Thank you for visiting today. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik


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