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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lowcountry Sunset...Getting that Sunset Glow

'Lowcountry Magic'          10 x 20     pastel          ©Karen Margulis    purchase $150 with Paypal
close up view of 'Lowcountry Magic'

close up view of 'Lowcountry Magic'
There is magic about the sunset in the South Carolina Lowcountry.  I have seen some spectacular sunsets. Some of my favorites have been in the Southwest. But I have to give the prize to my most spectacular sunset to one I witnessed by accident in Beaufort South Carolina. Never had I seen such a wonderful combination of sky and water glowing with orange and golden light.  It is hard to capture this in a painting without it looking fake. But it was very real!
There are a couple of things I try to do when painting a sunset to give it an authentic feeling.
  • I try to go bolder and more intense with my color. I find that photos often don't show the true colors and unless I am using the correct setting the photos often look washed out. I like to pump up my colors to compensate. So instead of a pale peachy color I will go for the intense oranges.
  • I try to infuse some of the sky color into the edged of the trees and land shapes. If the sky is glowing orange I will scumble some orange over the edges of the trees. This both softens them and gives a little glow to them. 
  • I pay attention to the colors in the land or foreground. Often photos show the foreground as a black or very dark silhouette. In real life you would see more color though it will be dull. So instead of using black I use some of my dull dark and dark-middle value colors. (see my close ups)
I will be spending a week this Fall on Pawley's Island in a cottage on the beach and marsh. I have my fingers crossed for some beautiful sunrises and sunsets!


Debora L. Stewart said...

Love the color of the sky and the red on the tops of the trees. Makes the painting glow.

Roxanne Steed said...

aww, lucky you, I just got back from a trip last week to Folly Beach. I've missed the place...been away too long.