Painting of a house in an evening sky to keep colourful memories of the merry past…
I was recently commissioned to paint this house. It belongs to a couple who lives in that place. For many years it was a cosy nest for the family, place to raise the children, however, as the children have grown up and left the nest, the house became too big and so now the owners are about to sell it.
As the house is made out of dark red bricks it would be best portrayed in the evening sky, surrounded by an intensive blue and orange glare… with the last rays of sunshine flickering from behind the roof.
There are two big windows in the fascia of the house revealing the inside of the living room and the kitchen. It looks really interesting when the light is on inside those rooms, spreading out warm, orange light onto the garden, leaving gleams of yellow and orange on rocks, plants and the grass – blue-green now as the evening approaches. All those colours together: brick-red, orange and yellow, green-blue and the inky sky, create contrast and amazing atmosphere…
I want to focus on the sky. I envisage it to be painted as a gradient of colours ranging from pale yellow and orange through lilac, white-cerulean, violet to an inky blue. I had this photo to help me with the colours:
My first layer of paint was cadmium yellow. I have completely covered the whole sky with that colour.
In the place where the rays of sunshine meant to shine through, I would paint in the brightest of the yellow, nearly white.
To achieve the sun glare effect I am spreading white/yellow paint, squeezed directly from the tube, and rub it vigorously with a dry brush. The brush has a very rough bristle. It is important the brush is completely dry so did not touch the water. This method leaves a soft, mist-like effect on the canvas. That will be the sun glare.
Notice that, when we look at a very bright light, the edges of objects obscuring the light disappear. Light takes over, spills like water.
The slates of the roof would reflect some colours of the sky, so there, I am adding patches of pink, violet, purple…
When my first layer of the yellow/orange colour which I used to paint the sky is completely dry, I can now overpaint it with the blue. One has to mind here that, the blue will show blue only when the layer of yellow is thoroughly dry. If the yellow wasn’t dry, what colour would I get? Green, of course! Brrr…
The blue is a mixture of cerulean, transparent white (mixing white) and a glazing medium. Glazing medium adds brilliance to the colour without losing transparency, it helps the paint to dry quickly which is great for rapid layering. It also adds viscosity to paint so the brush strokes are invisible hence, the glazing, like on the cake… 😀
I wanted to accentuate the colourful clouds in the sky to capture their movement and changing hues. To achieve that, I have added lines of gloss paint to mark the clouds’ edges, rays of the sun and the transition from blue to orange. Those long and short, vigorous gloss line stokes, evoke the feeling of the air flowing, of a gentle breeze.
I thought that the picture was finished at that point. However, I always see so many colours! I look at the sky and see such a variety! It is really frustrating because I want to be able to mix those colours and paint them. This lack of control greatly distracts me from my painting to the point of damage…
Something didn’t feel right when I looked at my sky…, I thought it was too bright, or lacking contrast…!
I started playing with a variety of colourful glazes, spreading blue, pink, orange, lilac patches across the sky. I’ve added even more gloss…
I wanted to pass this kind of energy: the sky should be calm, as the evening approaches slowly and it becomes blue and darker, going into deeper and deeper shades of the night… Peacefull, beguiling sky…
However, I suddenly realised that the sky I’ve painted in result looked too dramatic, it seemed angry and rough, the clouds were gathering and accumulating. That wasn’t the energy I wanted to transfer through this painting.
To calm the sky down I need to paint it over with another mixture of blue.
I would use washes of blue and paint them over these layers.
I have used my Pantone swatches to find the right blue. The blue I want has the following recipe:
13 parts of Process Blue
3 parts of Reflex Blue
The lighter variation of this colour will contain transparent white.
For Pantone Reflex Blue I’m going to use this combination: cobalt and ultramarine. For Process Blue I’ll use cerulean ink. The ink will give brilliancy to the acrylic colours, the colours won’t shift after dry.
So, this is the result. I hope that, now, the picture conveys the right atmosphere … of peace, love and family time.
So many happy events took place at that house! What is the best way to keep vivid memories of all of them if not in a colourful, original piece of art? A painting which will be taken wherever they go next and hung on the new walls, in a new house, it will become a colourful memory, reminiscence of the happy past…
And you can also have your own colourful memories captured in an original piece of art.
For more information on the commissions I do, click on this link below: