PAINTING SUNSET CLOUDS
My husband and I traveled up to Snowshoe, WV last July for a week. It is over 4,000 feet in elevation so even in summer it can get very cool at night, but the relief from Florida's summer heat was welcome. Snowshoe Ski Resort is built literally on the top of the mountain so you will see spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Did I have my camera ready? You bet I did!
Every evening we walked down to the overflow parking lot where we had the best views and waited for the show. I took both videos and photos as there was so much I wanted to capture. I intended to paint some of the scenes in plein air but never got around to it because I was so busy taking pictures!
Fast forward to this week. I finally sat down to paint one of those sunsets and it proved to be harder than I thought it would be. I took photos along the way for you to see and please don't laugh at my initial attempt as it does get better. Clouds are not particularly easy to paint, especially if they have color in them! I start out showing you the photo and move through the process of painting it. Note that I do not copy it exactly.
It takes a lot of practice to get these clouds so don't be discouraged if yours don't look just like mine at first. Just keep painting on the colors and softening with a mop brush and you will get it! It takes at least four coats of paint to get clouds correct with acrylics! I start with the darkest value and go up in value with each coat, with the final coat being the brightest white or color. I also take and save photos of cloud formations all the time, especially those with pretty colors!
After using the glaze on my salt marsh painting, I decided to glaze the sky in this one too. I had actually taken it to the photographer and had to retrieve it to work on the glaze. Thankfully it hadn't been photographed yet. I went over the sky with a thin coat of glaze tinted with a very small amount of orange and yellow. I think it adds richness and a whole new dimension to the painting! What do you think?
|"SUNSET OVER SNOWSHOE"
16 x 20