Paintings of Sunsets June 28, 2018 09:32

painting of a sunset work in progress by harold rothLots of artists paint sunsets, but most don't do so successfully. I found this out when I began trying to paint sunsets myself (in acrylic) and no matter what I did, they either looked too garish or too dim. Well, guess what--this is the same thing most painters face with this image. 

It helped when I learned that in order to make something seem bright in a painting, make its surroundings darker than usual. It also helped when I learned that titanium pigment could be used for brightness in a way neither zinc nor lithopone can. These two bits of knowledge gave me a way to portray backlit subjects, like clouds.  

Since switching to oils, I have not tried a sunset. I remembered too well how crappy my acrylic sunsets turned out--so crappy, for the most part, that I didn't display them or just painted over them. The closest I could get was a nice lavender dusk.

But I've been wanting to try it again because there are so many sunset paintings I love. For instance, by George Innes, but also by contemporary oil painters. I love the peacefulness and quiet that such paintings seem to depict. And we are certainly living in a time when peacefulness and quiet are necessary for us just to keep going.

So yesterday I decided to try a sunset again--one of those that have a big sloppy glob of a sun. So far, so good. I chose what I had intended to be a painting of the ocean and went over it. Yesterday I started with color glazes, and this morning it got glazes of lavender. So far, so good. The top part is already looking the way I want it to. 

There are some trees across from my apartment that I want to incorporate into this painting. I'll start those when I get the glob sun and some foreground done. But perhaps this time I can get a sunset that is not garish or too dim.