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…

Victoria Harbour Sunset

Hong Kong Sunset 1

Hong Kong Sunset 2

These are old photos from 2008. At the time my family and I were living in Korea on a 90 day visa. When it was getting close to running out for my mom and I we were considering taking a ferry to Fukuoka in Japan, staying there a couple of days, and then returning for another 90 days. I found so little information about the ferries available in English though that I was nervous about the idea of traveling a long distance to a city on the coast that I had never been to and then trying to figure out where the ferry would be without getting lost. Instead, we flew to Hong Kong because I at least knew how to get the airport.

We were only there for less than 3 whole days before going back to Korea, but it was a lot of fun. We took the ferry in the photo above on a tour of the harbor and were within walking distance of the art museum, a planetarium, restaurants, and a lot of other nice places.

Hong Kong Sunset 3


Self-made watercolors on Fabriano 300lb soft press paper, 3.5″ x 7″

I was recently experimenting with making watercolor paints from the dry pigments I got from Natural Pigments and I made this with a few of them. The white I used in a couple of them is actually an old container of titanium white pigment from Daniel Smith, but the rest are my new pigments.

The sky and clouds are two blues made from different mixes of ultramarine, italian dark ochre, titanium white, and raw umber. The grass is made from a few mixes of ultramarine, yellow ochre light, italian dark ochre, lemon ochre, and a little titanium white.

It was a lot of fun not only using the paints I had previously made but also deciding that I needed a couple of greens that hadn’t been made yet and mixing them together part way through.

Watercolor Sunset

Watercolor Sunset

As far as I can remember it’s been many years since I’ve actually painted with watercolor on paper, but I have a large collection of nice paints (mostly Daniel Smith) and I thought I’d try using them again. This painting above is based on one by Joseph Turner, one of my favorite artists to ever live, and was made using Holbein’s “Irodori Antique” watercolors. I used amber, bronze blue, and red ochre.

With watercolor it’s harder to change something once you do it, and there’s a certain fear that a brushstroke or color choice won’t be right and ruin the painting. Maybe I’ll make some practice paintings this week.

Tomorrow I’m getting some new oil paints in the mail, from three brands I’ve never used before. I thought I might make a more technically focused post once I try them out and write about my first impressions with them. Considering the price on two of them, reputedly being “premium” brands, I have high hopes for them.