Thursday, December 11, 2008

"Sunrise Studies" 12-3-08

The sunrise was just too beautiful to ignore. While I was making my morning coffee, I kept looking out the studio window at it. Knowing how fast a sunrise will change, I ran and grabbed my camera (literally!) to catch some photos. All the fantastic colors can bloom to unbelievable brilliance, then it can fade as the sun comes out so bright you can't look, or it will slip behind clouds.

After taking some photos, I then grabbed my watercolor pencils and worked very quickly to sketch out some colors. I used watercolor pencils, watersoluble graphite and inktense watersoluble ink pencils with my waterbrush to blend and wet them. These are all Derwent brand pencils I used. I played around with drawing on the paper wet and dry when I did the trees. At first I drew them on dry...then ran the brush over bringing out the darkness of the color, but it also washes it out or softens it. Then I tried drawing the trees on wet paper and they were dark and intense from the start. This is good for trees in the forground. You can use both methods to your liking.
(Below) I liked this one better, though it's more simple, the colors are so pleasant. When I do a sunrise sketch, the colors shift very fast so I work on the large color impressions and cloud patterns, then try to work from memory. This leads to a lively painting but don't be surprised if you look at the photos you took at the time and they look very different!


Carol Creech said...

Beautiful, Mary! I love the colors. How fun, and challenging, to try to capture a sunrise in action. I find something as abstract as the sky so hard to draw, so I am very impressed! :)

Mary McAndrew said...

Hi Carol,
thanks, it IS hard to capture the sky let alone a quickly changing sunrise or sunset. I tried to work quickly and then just had to add elements after, so it never quite looks like a snapshot...I guess that's good!
keep drawing!