Sunsets in the bush photo:
`Sunsets in the bush’ was inspired by the beauty of the South African bush on the Springbok Flats. Each day about five o’clock I set out to see what sunset photographs I could collect.
Red sunset skies don’t always occur every day. Did you know beautiful sunsets are actually created because of dust, dust that drives housewives crazy! In South Africa we have beautiful sunsets. During winter the velt (grasslands) is usually dry and dusty.
Clouds were gathering when I took this photograph. With my camera, to take sunset photos, I reduce the `contrast’ format on my camera to minus five, and then aim just next to the bright sun. How much you see of the velt (grass) and the quality of the silhouettes depends on whether your camera is pointing closer to the sky area or just below the horizon.
When painting sunsets, contrasts of tone and colour are important to make them dramatic. Before filling in the darker tones the painting looks washed out. Once the dark trees, bush foliage and dead tree trunks are filled in, the sunset starts to come alive. Playing warm colours against cool colours gives the painting emotion.
I didn’t begin with an imprimatura wash. I needed the white of the paper, especially where the sun is setting. Smooth washes and gradating the colours is created by keeping the paper wet as long as possible. Then waiting for the paper and painting to dry, before adding the silhouette formations of the bush. The foreground grass is done last, applied in impressionistic style.
Note the silver-lining of the clouds in this image-file looks orange. In the actual painting the silver-lining is yellow. Computer programs don’t always do justice to your paintings. I find this frustrating when posting images of my paintings in my blogs. Do you have the same problem?
Please leave a comment:
I would like to hear from you. My website is mainly for artists, but I hope art-lovers and non-artists will enjoy the interesting facts about the South African scenes I paint. Posting blogs seems a waste of time unless you feel you are actually helping someone, been informative or fascinating enough for folks out there to get something out of it. Best regards, Ada.
Here is another sunset watercolour painting, also of the Springbok Flats. It was done about a year ago.