Capturing Sunsets in loose watercolour

Capturing Sunsets in loose watercolour

In this short watercolour study, I’m experimenting with watery hues to create a relaxed, vibrant, fresh sunset by mixing minimal colours together.

I will show you how to create a sense of essence, feeling and being in the moment, while capturing the pinky purpley landscape.

What you’ll need:

If you don’t have the equipment and paints, I recommend, get creative with what you have handy.

  • Reference photo/memory
  • HB Pencil
  • Mop paint brush – Jennifer Rose Size 3/0
  • Daisy palette (for mixing watery paints)
  • Water bowl
  • Paper towel
  • Watercolour paper (I recommend Arches cold pressed paper) – Paints (see colour list below). I use Winsor and Newton paints. – Scrap piece of paper by your side to colour mix.

Paint colours needed:

  • Winsor Lemon
  • Perm Rose
  • Olive Green
  • Rose of Ultramarine
  • Burnt Umber
  1. Starting with a light watery wash of Winsor Lemon, (which is superbly vibrant) I begin by creating the main focal point of the sun. Allowing the white paper to be the shape of the sun and continuing to build the layers around it creates the scene immediately with just a few brushstrokes. You can also leave other small sections white to enhance more light.

Often when you study or continue to refer to a picture, you’ll notice different colours/hues and how they merge. In this case, I notice the orangey pink sky. By including my permanent rose colour into the vibrant yellow, creates stunning orange hues all of their own on the paper.

Using your brush in a sideways motion to capture even more drama, I’m dropping in Rose of Ultramarine to my skyline – Gorgeous!

By continuing to build up the hues to my painting,  such as olive green to create the grass area, it adds feeling and depth to my sunset.

How to you get the sunshine rays on your paper like that?

Observing the colour, I dropped in additional orange hues from my mixing palette and extended my watery brush outwardly to show the sun rays falling on the ground before me. Drop in extra water to make the paint spread further. Experimenting like this is fun and relaxing.

As my colours are beginning to settle, gorgeous textured water marks are appearing above my sunset, creating further atmosphere to this tranquil sky. Further dropping in my pink and purple hues, creates more glow to my sunset.

Drop in additional colours where you feel necessary, to enhance your painting. You will notice the colours merging, creating new hues and textures all of their own.

If you want to, why not try introducing a tree line silhouette to your sunset? This creates more depth and feeling to your painting. By using the tip of the brush, outline the silhouette of the tree line where the sun is setting using your brown hues.

Sunsets remind us to slow down and notice.

I hope this brief guide has helped inspire you to paint your own sunset and given you the confidence to experiment with your watercolour hues.

If you do paint your own sunset, I’d love to see your results, so tag me on Instagram and use the hashtag #jenniferrosegallery so I can see how you got on. You can also find me on Facebook

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Love Jennifer Rose  xx

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