Red Sunrise

Red Sunrise

Oil on canvas, 8″ x 10″

I was looking at Yellow and Gold by Mark Rothko yesterday and I thought I’d like to paint something like it, but… I figured it could use a few mountains. 🙂

I used three recently gotten paints that I haven’t used on anything yet, plus white. Transparent yellow medium (PY128, Rembrandt), Indian yellow (PY83, Michael Harding), and pink madder (PR221, Holbein). All three of them are very transparent paints. The sky is a mix of the two yellows and the mountains are a mix of Indian yellow and pink madder. I was really impressed with the reds and oranges that I got from that. The reddest area is an extremely intense vermilion but very transparent.

It was hard getting a good photo and I ended up doing a little editing to it and combining two different photos. In the real painting the sky is a little more yellow and isn’t quite so blended together, being more bands of color. The reds of the mountains are actually not far off from how they really look, but the brushstrokes aren’t really showing up. One of these days I need to either figure out my camera better or get a better lighting setup than just going outside into the sunlight…

4 thoughts on “Red Sunrise

    1. Thanks 🙂

      The drying time depends on the exact paint and other factors. Something like raw umber or burnt umber are both known to dry fast because they contain small amounts of manganese which accelerates drying in oil paint. Cobalt blue also tends to dry a little faster, as well as some others. A paint like lamp black dries slow because the pigment it’s made from needs a large amount of oil (many times the amount as mars black) to make paint. Because it has so much more oil content it takes longer to dry, and people are often advised to avoid using lamp black on the bottom layer of a painting. I’ve found that titanium white can take a very long time to dry too, which is why for the first layer of a painting a lot of people either avoid using white or they use a specially formulated “underpainting white” or a flake white (which contains lead).

      Besides the pigment used, the type of oil can also affect drying time. Linseed oil is the most common and is usually a good choice. Walnut oil dries a little slower but has less of a tendency to turn yellow over time, which is important for white paint because even a little yellowing would be noticed. Some brands may use linseed oil for all of their paints except white, which may be safflower oil or poppyseed oil because those resist yellowing as well (but dry slow).

      There’s also mediums that can be mixed into paint, such as various alkyd oils, that will make it dry a lot faster. These can have a strong smell though.

      If you come up with any questions about paint, just let me know. ^_^

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