28 Mar 2018Mont Marte

How to Create a Sunset Painting with H2O Water Mixable Oils

Create a stunning sunset using H2O Water Mixable Oil Paints. There are a few tricks you need to know to capture the beauty of a sunset in a painting, and in this tutorial we'll show you everything we have up our sleeve. Learn how to plan out your painting, blend your colours to create eye catching contrasts, paint a reflection on the water and more.

Step 1. Marking up the canvas.

Refer to the first image in this PDF and transfer all the line-work with a graphite pencil. Start with the horizon line. Ensure that the line work is not too dark as it can be visible beneath the paintwork of the piece.

Step 2. Tinting the canvas.

Once the line work has been created squeeze out some Satin Series Acrylic Yellow Ochre, Yellow Orange and Vermilion. Use a 75mm wide artists brush and paint this colour over the entire canvas. Don't blend the colours on the palette, instead, dip the brush into water and take a little of one colour paint a portion of the canvas until the paint runs out, then dip the brush into the next colour and so on. Continue until the canvas is fully covered and let this dry. Ensure that the coat is not too consistent so more interest is added.

Step 3. Painting the Sky.

The sky can essentially be broken into 3 parts, 1) The area to the left above the cloud. 2) The band of sky across the middle and 3) the area under the bottom clouds.

Squeeze out some: Titanium White, Lemon Yellow, Mid Yellow, Crimson, Ultramarine Violet, Orange and Ultramarine Blue.

Onto the palette mix some Ultramarine Blue and Titanium White to create a dark sky blue hue, using a medium sized Filbert Brush lay the sky in on the right hand side. As you move to the left, add more Titanium White into the mix to lighten the blue. At this stage blend some Lemon Yellow in from the left hand side in streaks and then add some Ultramarine Violet and Crimson. Apply these colours in streaks. At the bottom of the band blend in some Lemon Yellow to the clouds. Once the band is finished create a mix of Ultramarine Blue and Titanium White and lay it into the area above the clouds. Ensure that there is a little more white added into the area immediately adjacent to the cloud beside it. The third area of clouds lies across the bottom of the sky area up to and above the horizon. First create a mix from Ultramarine Blue, Ultramarine Violet, Crimson and Titanium White. This will provide a dirty Violet Blue tone. Paint this thinly along the lower clouds. Finally lay a Yellow and Orange mix into the area where the sun lies and carefully blend this into the Blue Violet lower cloud bank.

Step 4. Painting the clouds.

Create a mix from Ultramarine Violet, Ultramarine Blue, Crimson, and Paynes Grey and paint in the large top cloud. Concentrate the paint around the centre of the cloud and drag the colour out to the edge. Use a small clean flat brush to soften the edge of the cloud where it meets the sky. Paint the bottom of the cloud with orange and blend this into the Purple of the cloud. Once you are happy with the top cloud add some more Titanium White into the mix and use a small taklon flat brush to scumble in the lower clouds from the right. Don’t take the colour right down to the bottom of the cloud. This will give the appearance that the cloud is being lit from underneath. Continue to scumble in the clouds until you reach the area where the sun lies. Start from the left side now and darken the mix with a little more Paynes Grey. Continue along the cloud adding Titanium White to lighten it. To create some shape in the top portion of the cloud remove some of the colour with a dry brush so that some of the underlying colour shows through. Like the first cloud soften the edge with a small flat brush. Next lay some pure Lemon Yellow into the area where the sun lies and blend this out into the orange. Use a rag and remove a little paint in the middle of the Yellow area just laid down and paint pure Titanium White into this spot. Carefully blend the White into the yellow so it transitions smoothly.

Step 5. Painting the water

Squeeze out some Purple and some Phthalo Blue in Satin series. Paint the Purple up to the area beneath the sun. Paint the next side leaving a small gap to suggest where the reflection of the sun will lie. Paint another block of colour on the right hand side of the reflection mixing Phthalo Blue into the area. Let this dry. Create an orange mix of Mid Yellow, Orange, Crimson and Titanium White. Add a touch of Water Mixable Oil into the Mix and paint this thinly into the area beneath the sky and extend it out so that it occupies 1/3 of the canvas under where the sun lies. Create a mix of Ultramarine Blue, Crimson and Titanium White. Paint this mix into the left hand side of the water and then with a clean brush gently blend this into the orange of the water. Make long horizontal strokes and try to avoid excess contamination. Follow the same steps for the water on the left hand side of the water. Charge a small filbert with Crimson and lay it in a zigzag shape directly under the sun. Blend this into the orange. Squeeze out some Lemon Yellow onto the palette and mix it with some Water Mixable Linseed Oil. Lay this over the Crimson and work down the canvas. Finally lay some pure Titanium White over the Yellow with a fine rigger brush.

Material List

  • Water Mixable Oil Paint 37ml (1.25oz) - Orange
  • Water Mixable Oil Paint 37ml (1.25oz) - Yellow Mid
  • Water Mixable Oil Paint 37ml (1.25oz) - Lemon Yellow
  • Water Mixable Oil Paint 37ml (1.25oz) - Titanium White
  • Water Mixable Oil Paint 37ml (1.25oz) - Permanent Crimson
  • Water Mixable Oil Paint 37ml (1.25oz) - Ultramarine Violet
  • Water Mixable Oil Paint 37ml (1.25oz) - Ultramarine Blue
  • Water Mixable Oil Paint 37ml (1.25oz) - Paynes Grey
  • Drawing Set Signature 8pc
  • Double Thick Canvas Premium 60.9 x 121.8cm (24 x 48in)
  • Plastic Brush Washer Signature
  • Acrylic Brush Set in box 7pce
  • Palette Knife Signature No.4

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