It is friday after thanksgiving and I hope you all have full bellies and happy hearts. Today I would like to share a super easy way to paint a sunset. I will be using brushes and acrylic paint bought really cheap from Walmart and wooden boards cut from a pallet and stapled together. I know that painting can seem really intimidating when you’re first getting started, but hopefully I can share some tips and tricks I use that might convince you to grab a brush and get to it. Of course quality paints and brushes can really help a painting come alive, but it isn’t all that necessary. What you really need to create something beautiful is some equipment, a positive mindset, and a vision.
I made my first blog video out in the cold and spent hours editing it to shorten its original 40 minute length to something that is simple and easy to watch. Hopefully you enjoy it. I will also describe my actions and give some tips that I regularly use when painting something that requires smooth transitions.
Cringe (Stripped) – Matt Maeson, Shot At the Night – The Killers, The Other Side – Ruelle
Especially when painting on a rough surface like wood, I like to start with a white base. It makes for easier blending and helps with using less of your colored paint. You want to work while the paint is still wet the entire time. Allowing it to dry hampers your ability to mesh colors together.
You always want a base color before you start layering details. So, I go in with a pale blue, pink, yellow, orange, red, and purple. I blend all of these colors together where I want them placed before I even consider adding dimension. For blending, you DO NOT want to try to be precise. Use long, fluid strokes from side to side and do not be afraid to run your colors together. I never rinse my brush in between for this phase either. I just add new colors immediately and it helps keep from creating harsh lines.
After you’ve got all of your base colors where you want them, you can start adding darker and lighter shades of the same color for depth. So where I had pale blue I add in a aqua color and a navy. For skies, I like to go in with a smaller brush and blotch in the locations I want darker. I then come in with a larger brush and use those long fluid strokes from side to side again to smooth it out.
I personally find that making shadow details with black is the simplest way to add a landscape into your painting. I come in with a much smaller brush here to add land farther in the background and add swamp like grass into my water. I ended up adding grass toward the front (bottom) of the landscape (which isn’t shown here on camera). It is simply taking a smaller brush and making random upward strokes that curve outward from a center point.
The biggest piece of advice I can give is to not be precise. True landscapes in real life are not perfect, and that is why they are beautiful. Grass is unpredictable, and clouds don’t have a perfect shape. Simply go with the flow and do what feels right. Chances are, there is an artist in you that you were unaware of. So, run and grab some 50 cent acrylic paint from Walmart and see what you can come up with. You might surprise yourself.
An easy sunset painting made by hand and with heart. Enjoy your weekend. See you guys on Monday!