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Watercolor Painting Sunrise / Sunset Skies (Dawn / Dusk Skies). Part 1 The Sky.

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This is a lesson on how to watercolor paint water and islands. It's a long lesson so its broken into three segments. The first segment is painted wet in wet, and when we are finished painting it the whole thing is soaking in wet paint. First we paint the bands of sky. A blue band top and bottom and a reddish orange band across the middle. We wait just a little while, until the shine disappears, and then paint in the islands. Fist the distant island using very little paint and hardly any water. Then we paint the darkness of the nearby water. It's dark because we are looking down at it and thus into it. Further away, our vision angle is very small, and at small angles water become opaque and mirror like. The distant ripples will go in later.

Now we start in the foreground islands. They are pretty easy, but you have to use a lot of paint. While the paper is wet, its a good time to blend the foreground islands into the water. The beaches are never really distinct anyway, but more importantly, the out of focus, "soft edges" in the foreground shadows lead the eye to the "hard edges" at the "center of interest".

The eye will always go to the edge of maximum contrast. Here its the line of vegetation which stretches, left to right, completely across the painting. Notice that line divides the painting into unequal parts. That the sky area is bigger than the land area. In a very advanced lesson on composition I will show you why that is so very important, but its why you are so attracted to this image.

Finally, as our eyes flow over this line, we discover the subject of this painting. The lighthouse is off in the distance, and you will usually only discover it after looking around. Notice how the lighthouse is way out from the center of the painting. That too is so important.

The final phase of the painting is "lifting out the lighthouse". We will do that by wetting the area it occupies, and simply picking up the paint with a little fresh water. In order to do this, the rest of the paper must be dead dry.



PART 1 - The Sky

PART 2 - The Land and Sea

PART 3 - The lighthouse

MATERIALS LIST

Hover Or Click
A Color For Information
Sedimentary Warm        

Burnt Sienna

A sedimentary color; sediments quickly offering a mottled or shimmery look to the final (wash)

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Viridian

A sedimentary color; sediments quickly offering a mottled or shimmery look to the final (wash)

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Pthalocyanine Blue

A "warm" (greenish) blue.

A non sedimentary color settles out smoothly yielding a uniform finish (wash)

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Pyrrol Red

A "warm" (orangish) red.

A non sedimentary color settles out smoothly yielding a uniform finish (wash)

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Arylide Yellow FGL

A "warm" (orangish) yellow.

A non sedimentary color settles out smoothly yielding a uniform finish (wash)

There is not an industry standard name for this color. I am offering DaVincis Brand name.

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Yellow Ocher

A sedimentary color.

sediments quickly offering a mottled or shimmery look to the final (wash)

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Cerulean Blue

A sedimentary color.

Sediments quickly offering a mottled or shimmery look to the final (wash)

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Ultramarine Blue

A cool (purplish) blue.

A non sedimentary color settles out smoothly, theoretically yielding a uniform final (wash).

Actually Ultramarine Blue "flocculates" (gathers in clumps) so we only get a fairly smooth (wash)

Sadly, it's the only purplish blue thats light-fast and available to artists.

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Alizarin Crimson
( Quinacridone )

A cool (purplish) red.

A non sedimentary color settles out smoothly yielding a uniform finish (wash)

n fact, Alizarine Crimson (a very early man made pigment) lost favor when it was found non light-fast.

Today we replace it it with a better version of the same color called Quinacdridone Red.

Nevertheless, manufacturers still call it Alizerine Crimson.

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Arylide Yellow Deep

A cool (greenish) yellow

A non sedimentary color settles out smoothly yielding a uniform finish (wash)

There is not an industry standard name for this color. I am offering the DaVincis Brand name.

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Cool        
Brushes

Brushes

I use mostly "Kolinsky" (Highest quality) red sable brushes. I also have some nylon brushes that are pretty amazing. They are on the high priced side of nylon brush prices.

Brushes do the actual painting. If the brush cannot do it ; neither can you. If you are a beginner, you should watch my videos All About Brushes.
and
Watercolor Brushes – What to look for when buying them.

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Papers

watercolor Paper

I use 140 pound cold pressed paper.

I buy "full sheets". Everyone will know that means 22" x 30". They are actually a little oversized which is true for all "mold made" papers.

Heavier thicknesses than 140 pound are nice but more expensive. "Rough" as opposed to cold pressed is also nice.

"Arches" brand; actual spelled D'Arches by the manufacturer.

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Palettes

Palettes

PALETTE Has Two Meanings

1) The selection of paints available to the artist.

2) The surface upon which the paints are stored and mixed.

In this case, the paint holder is a cut down ice cube tray. It stores, along with a wet sponge, in a zip lock bag. That keeps the paint fresh.

For a mixing surface I use a flat sheet of white plastic.

Another good one is clear plastic with white paper under it. A matte surface is preferable to a shiny one.

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