|Red and Orange Merging, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches|
First off, thank you Lynn for your sunset photo.
This finished oil is a cropped-down and brighter version than the source photo. My intent was to create a large sunset oil without too many of the cliche light effects. This work is almost pure composition and color.
I got off to a good start with this one and on the second session a number of different blues, reds and oranges went into clouds. Then I did the same with the land below by adding a variety of unusual colors. The composition was still in place but now a considerable amount of unnatural colors will have to be dealt with. During this second session it became apparent that the big cloud form was going to need a lot of work to keep it interesting in every direction, all 3 by 4 feet of it, presenting a new challenge to make it happen.
During the second session I purposely departed from the blacked-out land area and the big "God light' vertical streams in the photo. Instead I painted in an abstracted scrub landscape at the bottom and opted out of the upward light streams, the "God light" as a compositional element. Because the reds and oranges are prominent in this work, I chose a glowing, green field with other colors for green support. Every element in this oil is there to enhance the radiance of the clouds.
The last painting session was primarily two things. First to make the cloud form interesting as it moves horizontally and upward and to do the same for the field as it moves left to right. Then it was about pushing the oil to a more interesting place and perhaps to a finish.
Rather than just adding more bright color, I put in a number of different grey tones because they have the effect of adding complexity as well as making adjacent colors appear brighter. That turned out to be a really good move.
More interest at the edges were added and last, virtually every color on the canvas was given another brighter layer of a similar color, creating glowing effects throughout the scene.