Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bright Sunset

The watercolor above was painted from a photo taken at sunset on a clear day at Clingman's Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains. Clingman's Dome at 6,643 feet is the highest elevation in the Smokies and is often found shrouded in clouds. An observation dome offers a 360 degree panaroma of the park peaks in both Tennessee and North Carolina.

I love bright colors, so this landscape was fun for me to paint. It is not necessary to sketch in your painting; however, you might want to plan the horizon before you start. Be certain to keep the horizon uneven.

How to Paint the Sky
I started at the horizon and painted a wash up to the top of the painting. I used my darkest orange shade first and worked up dropping in yellow in the center. Before the sky completely dried, I dropped in Indigo as well as Payne's Grey. The sky area must dry before you start painting the mountains.

How to Paint the Mountains
Again, I started at the horizon, but this time I worked down to the bottom of the page. I first mixed all my paint using a mix of Indigo and Payne's Grey, but varying the intensity using the lightest at the horizon. I washed in the first range of mountains at the horizon and worked down. I let each wash dry before applying the next so that the mountains retained shape rather than blending together.

How to Paint the Foreground
There are faint outlines of spruce fir trees in the foreground. These were painted using the deepest color mix and adding a little Sap Green. Using the edge of a flat brush, the branches were painted in. Keep these light and uneven.

To finish the painting, I used a flat brush and some yellow paint to brush down from the clouds to give a sunny glow to the sunset. Use a light hand on this.

I painted this one in my small watercolor journal to get a feel for the colors. I like the results well enough to refine it for a larger painting! Dig out those paints and get started! Until next time.....

Happy Painting

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