Turner Sunset

Today’s watercolor experiment:

I warmed up today with a warm and cool color juxtaposition exercise. Hopefully this prepared me fore a Turneresque study of a sunset.

The instructions in my Tate Watercolor Manual * said to lay down a cobalt blue sea and a yellow ocher sky, “strengthening” the warm yellow with cadmium red light and the cool blue with indigo.

Watercolor: 4 pictures of a Turner Sunset

Warmer Sky, Cooler Sea

The next task was adding clouds with a cooler red. A touch of cobalt blue added to the cadmium red light was supposed to do the trick. I added a lot more blue than suggested.  I added distant cloud with the tip of the brush, again using the cooled-down red.

Watercolor: 4 Turner Sunsets

Completed Turner Sunsets

The top two panels show the added ‘clouds’. The result is not all too pleasing. I like the bottom two panels, however. The darkened reds are more cloud-like than the others.

I am glad that I didn’t use an entire sheet of watercolor for this. I will need to do many more small-sized experiments to improve my ability to render a believable sunset.


Tate Watercolour Manual, Lessons from the Great Masters by Tony Smibert and Joyce Townsend

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