|'Sunset Series I' 5x7 plein air pastel ©Karen Margulis|
available for purchase $50
How to best capture something as fleeting as the sunset en plein air....in real time as it unfolds? We discussed it. Some of us wanted to get the main shapes and composition blocked in so that when the fireworks of the sunset began all would be necessary would be to capture the light and colors of the setting sun.
I decided on a different approach. I would paint the sunset in a series....as it unfolded. This way I would force myself to really observe and capture the subtle changes in the colors and light. I spent about 10 minutes on each painting. Working quickly prevented me from getting bogged down with details. I only wanted to capture the shift in colors. (the paintings are in the order they were finished and are all 5x7 except the last two)
After the sun went behind the mountains it was getting more difficult to see my pastels so these last paintings were done quickly but I had already warmed up! I loved seeing the twinkling lights come on in the distance.
I am happy I chose to paint the sunset in a series of quick studies. It was a wonderful learning experience and since the sunset was a gentle and subtle rather than a dramatic fiery one, it was even more of a challenge. I'd like to do this again!
All sunset paintings available in my Etsy shop. Click here to get a closer look.