To start, we will block in colour in each area.  These basic colours give us a good understanding of the dynamic  & influence that they will have on one another.  Remember, it is important to keep your colours bright and vibrant in order to capture luminosity, so maintain an individualistic approach in each area.  At this stage we are not blending as we will do that in the following stages.
i) For the violet clouds use ultramarine blue, Alizarin Crimson or Permanent Rose & a little Titanium White.  Note that the dark clouds at the bottom are slightly lighter.
ii) For the space where the sun is I used Cadmium Yellow Pale and Titanium White.  As the colour gradually strengthens to the left and right of this I added more cadmium yellow pale and then some Cadmium Red to intensify to orange on the right hand side.  While I had this orange I loosely added a little to the bottom of the large cloud to start seeing the reflective influence of the sun.
iii) For the light clouds on top, I used the Titanium White and Cadmium Yellow Pale.
iv) For the blues use Windsor or Ultramarine with Titanium White.  Note that the sky is darker at the top so less white is used here.  Once again, to start the reflective influence I added some gentle touches of Cadmium Yellow Pale and White to the bottom area of the blue.

As this is the first stage, you can apply your colour loosely and don't be afraid to let some of the Burnt Sienna wash come through.


v) Now, with a clean, dry brush gently blend the edge of each colour area together.  This gentle blending will maintain the individual colours and luminosity while also creating a softer, more cohesive effect.


Next week I will move into the next stage of depth & blending.


Art Tips: Painting a Sunset Sky

Posted by: phelim

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Painting a sunset is quite difficult because you are using a range of colours that you are not readily familiar with.  Oranges, yellows, blues and violets are combined to create a dramatic and luminous quality of light.  It is this combination that is difficult to control as you need to maintain the individuality of each colour area while at the same time allowing the influence of the light across the sky with subtle blending.  The following sky is painted onto a canvas washed with Burnt Sienna.  From there, outline the shapes of the clouds.  This helps to divide up  your sky and separate the indivudal colour areas.  Next week I will paint this sky step by step with images and text that you can follow along easily.