Thursday, June 19, 2014

Painting sunsets: Part One

For awhile when I was driving around and would see an amazing sunset, I would get angry that I couldn't pull over on the freeway that second and paint it. It really kills the natural enjoyment of a sunset, let me tell you!

Well, a months ago I was in my studio working on a painting, and the sun started going down. I saw how pretty the sky was and felt sad that I wasn't outside painting, and I finally decided to do something about it! I don't have the greatest view from my living room window, but enough was enough! I whipped my easel around to face the window and grabbed the first little canvas I could get my hands on, and I painted furiously for about fifteen minutes. When the light changed too much, I grabbed another canvas and had another 15 or so minutes before all the light was gone. Somewhere in there I yelled for my hubby to grab my camera and take a few pictures for me. 

Here's the second painting I did. 

After it dried the next day, I painted over it, using a photo to remind me what it looked like. 

I mostly worked from memory, but the photos were helpful as a reminder. I've since painted several sunset/twilight paintings and I can't get enough. I really feel it's something that can't quite be captured on camera but can be translated so beautifully with paint.

I have to remind myself all the time that painting is all about editing and distilling, not just copying what you see. I don't necessarily get inspiration from this scene with all the distracting details, but there is a lot of good information to grab and use for your own composition.