Tips for Dramatic Sunset Paintings
Drama in a landscape means everything. It mean excitement for you, the artist, as you get to use bold color and really move paint across canvas. It’s thrilling for the viewer because who isn’t mesmerized by the gorgeous colors and mercurial light of a sunset? So, no surprise, this is where sunset paintings come in. It’s the epitome of drama! It’s Mother Nature giving it her all! Enjoy these tips on sunset painting to get you started.
And if sunsets are leaving you wanting more dramatic landscape ideas, join us for Johannes Vloothuis’ Paint Along: Create Drama with Weather Effects. Our favorite instructor shows you all the ways to pull visual power to the surface of your paintings so you are caught up in the moment of painting and just don’t ever want to stop. That’s when you know you are in the painting zone! Johannes will keep you there! As always, enjoy!
Get Out There
If you are going to paint a sunset, please enjoy one first. Go outside, drive to a good lookout spot or stare out the window, but for inspiration’s sake start with observing the sun setting!
It’s everyone’s favorite part but don’t just reach for color straight from the tube. Sunsets typically scream “red” or “yellow” but there is depth there. Slow down and seek that out. Let all the colors in between sneak up on you by spending time observing them.
The Architecture of Clouds
In your lust for color, don’t forget that clouds are the architecture in the sky. Their shapes and forms give a sky character and power. They also change the way light filters through the sky, so give them their due!
Of course the corona of colors around the actual sun is going to command the bulk of your attention, but be sure to take note of the colors in other parts of the sky and in the landscape. I was always taught it is a good rule of thumb to also look behind you when the sun sets to see the other end of the color spectrum for good reference.
A searing red sun amidst a greyish blue sky? It is a powerful, beautiful thing. Just look to Monet’s work and we know this. Don’t confuse bombastic color chaos in your sunset sky with power. Less can be more if you do it the right way.