Acrylic Painting #6: Country Sunset

Evening time when the sun has just sunk beneath the horizon.  There is still a lot of light in the sky -- oranges, yellows, pinks, and blues paint the horizon. A silhouette of trees, houses, and a church are seen at the bottom of the sky.

This was my first time really trying to paint clouds. I’ve done a few abstractions of clouds but not individual ones. I thought it would be easy — and it was once I learned the technique. However, I had to make a lot of mistakes along the way. So, there are a few nice clouds in the mix and a lot of problems I attempted to fix in the sky.

A friend had passed along a photo that he had taken, and I used it for loose — extremely loose — inspiration. By that I mean that I attempted to follow the picture, but I ended up veering way off course. But, that’s okay. My main goal was to learn more about blending the colors of a sunset and figuring out how the heck clouds work. After three days of tinkering with it, I just let the work stand where it was.

Overall, I am particularly happy with the lower sky and the silhouette of the trees and buildings at the horizon. I wanted a little more yellow and pink. It seems that orange really overpowers the other colors, so I will need to watch out for that in the future.

If I started this painting today, it would be very different. The biggest mistake I made along the way was trying to put in darker cloud colors before laying down the lighter base. Most of the time I spent on this painting was in attempt to fix this mistake. Hard lessons learned.

I can talk all day about the things that went wrong. Being so close to the work means that I seem to note every stroke that didn’t turn out. But, I try to channel my inner Bob Ross and remember that they are merely “happy accidents.” This was my eighth painting (sixth acrylic) in less than a month. I feel like I have picked up a ton a knowledge by just putting in the work over these past few weeks. I still have miles to go to get anywhere near where I want to be, but I am having fun. It is all about the journey.

I want to get away from some of the landscape type work for a bit, though. I have been wanting to try acrylic pour painting and some more anime/manga-style stuff. We’ll see where it goes.