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A Summer of Sunsets

I love looking at sunsets. The bright vivid colors that appear naturally in the sky are amazing and it is really beautiful when they all blend together. This summer we've been having several amazing sunsets in the evenings. Each time I see a different compilation of pinks, oranges, yellows, blues and purples I can't resist taking photos. These photos have been the inspiration for my recent series of paintings. Every time I think I'm going to run out of possible compositions a new sunset comes along and so does another painting!

I also included a painting I did of some amazing clouds I saw before a storm the other night. It as if the sunset was illuminating the clouds from the inside out! This painting was a real challenge, though, because getting the right texture for the clouds was not an easy thing to do. Blending the colors was fairly straightforward, but even with trying to soften my brush strokes I couldn't seem to make the clouds look soft and fluffy and the gradations between the different colors was just too harsh. I was really getting frustrated until I had to blot a mistake from the surface with my rag. That was a revelation! I had just softened the area by blotting it so I went over the whole surface of the cloud to erase the harsh brush strokes and get the fluffy texture I desired. Don't you just love it when you unintentionally find the solution to a problem?

What kinds of unconventional techniques have you tried and find work when you paint? Are you more of a sunset or a sunrise person? Let me know in the comments below!

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