Saturday, August 29, 2009

"August Sunset" -- oil on canvas -- 12x24" -- Margie Guyot

I used a small field study to paint a larger version in my studio. The sunsets over Lake Michigan can be quite spectacular. I love trying to paint them. It's challenging, though, to paint them for several reasons. For one, the scene is constantly changing -- have you ever watched how fast clouds can move? And it's nearly impossible to capture the brilliance of the colors. Oil paint, when you start mixing it, often tends to turn muddy. Probably a good way to work out this problem is to paint the bright, strong passages in pure white, leave them dry, and then do thin glazes of pure color, mixed with Liquin.

The brilliant red color in the center is "coral red", straight from the tube.

I live right down the road from 4 Lake Michigan parks. My favorite one, Rex Beach, is the one I tend to go to for painting sunsets. You can drive right down to the water at Rex Beach, instead of having to park and carry all your painting gear for blocks.

There have been times this summer when it was impossible to paint anywhere on the lake because of swarms of hatching bugs. I don't know what kind of bugs they are, but there are clouds of them, landing in your eyes, wet palette, painted surface, etc. I learned not to even try during these bug swarms. Thank goodness these bug swams don't last long!

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