"Sunset Reflections" was requested by a client from Texas. Her beautiful photo is the inspiration for this painting. To see the completed piece click here - or keep reading to see how I painted this piece in 8 steps.
1. First of all, when painting a sunset from a photo, I want to see what is really there - what your eyes see.
Photographs will often hide detail because of the way a camera lens works - the sunset is bright and colorful, but the landscape is very dark, almost black, as can be seen in the photo to the left.
Now I can see that there is a grassy field in the background and that the foreground tree trunks are actually standing in the water. Once I have this new information, I can paint!
I start painting at the top with the sky. The sky is where light emanates, so it sets the tone for the scene. First the dark clouds:
Then the pale blue sky and warm sunset colors around the sun. The sunset in this scene is especially gorgeous - colorful, yet peaceful. I'm happy with how it is turning out so far!
3. While the sky colors are on my palette, it's a good time to paint sunset reflections in the water. This is basically painting the same thing upside down with some horizontal strokes to break up the reflection:
4. To paint the landscape, I use deep greens and browns keeping everything soft and indistinct since it's nightfall. The unpainted vertical lines denote where the trees trunks will be:
When the field, background trees and their reflections are done, I allow the paint a few days to dry before painting the tree trunks:
5. The trees are painted dark since they are profiled against the sky. I use a small brush to stroke in the branches:
6. Below is a trick I use often to check my work when a painting is nearing completion - I turn it upside down! It's amazing how this one trick can help me see things that need adjusting. (Another method is to view the painting in a mirror):
7. I now make sure I've painted the image on all edges of the canvas:
8. Now the painting is finished and ready to be shipped to the client in its protective box.
Isn't this a peaceful scene?
I'm happy to take custom orders. Contact me for a custom painting of your pet, home, garden, grandkids, favorite vacation spot or whatever your heart desires.
To receive my posts by email, fill in your email address under FOLLOW BY EMAIL in the right hand column and click Submit. You'll receive my posts in your email inbox at the end of each day that a post is made.