How to Paint a Sunset with Watercolors for Beginners | Art Journal Thursday Ep. 12


(peaceful music) – Hey guys, welcome
back to another episode of Art Journal Thursday where we get creative
every single Thursday here on this channel. Today, we are going to
paint two different sunsets, since some of you guys requested a video about how to paint a sunset. I will show you my way of painting it so you can get an idea, and then you can just play around with it and develop your own way and your own technique how to do that. What I usually do is when
it comes to painting sunsets or sceneries with a background, I start off with distributing some water with a flat brush all over the
area I want to paint later. This way, we can use
the wet on wet technique where we use wet paint on wet surface. This will help the paint
to nicely blend together. So for the first sunset, I will be using just a light layer of blue for the sky because the sky was pretty pastel-looking. Remember when you apply watercolors, the paint will dry a lot lighter, so I would always try
to go for a darker shade but of course, you can
always layer watercolors so you can just experiment. I’m using a picture I took
myself when I was in Thailand, but you can of course
Google any sunset you like and just use that as the reference. Here, I’m just applying the paint from the top to the bottom and create this grading
effect from dark to light and while the paint is still wet, you can take a tissue
paper and lightly dab it over the paper to soak
up some of the paint. This way, you create
these pretty, loose clouds without any harsh lines and this will look really
natural once it’s dry. Now while the first background is drying, we can move on to the second example. Here, the sunset was a lot darker and had totally different colors. That’s why I wanted to show you guys two different examples,
so you can see my process but the steps are similar. You want to start with
applying water to the paper and then you can distribute the paint. I really like using flat
brushes for the background because it makes such a huge difference and you can create such
flat layers of paint that is hard to achieve
with a round brush. Again, you can remove some of the paint using a tissue paper and then just let the watercolor do its magic. Now, once the first sunset is dry, we can go ahead and add more paint on top. Notice also a tiny bit
of yellow in the sky, so here just use a little
bit of yellow color paint and dab it on top and at the same time I blend it in into the background by just distributing it evenly. We just need a light wash of yellow. Now the second sunset was
darker and more vibrant so here I’m just using an orange color and just starting applying
it just above the area where I will be painting the water later. I also blend the color into the sky using a little bit of water and also distribute the paint
into this grading effect. Now comes the trick I showed you in one of my other watercolor videos. You can take a coin and wrap
it into some tissue paper so the coin has a flat
surface covered with the paper and now you can just dab it onto the paper while the paint is still
wet and then lift it up. This way, you create this bright sun. Now we can also add some orange watercolor to the lower part of the
sunset and distribute evenly. Don’t forget that the
sky reflects in the water so you want to apply some
of the similar paints to the water as well. You can also use a tissue paper
to remove some of the paint, especially where the sun
reflects on the water, because even if something
looks really bright, there still might be some bit of color that is just super bright, that’s why I usually
paint over empty areas even if you can barely see the color. And again, since watercolor dries lighter, it’s normal to paint in layers until you’re happy with the intensity and the shade of the paint. So here I just went ahead and used this dark purple-colored paint, and applied it starting from the top with these left to right movements while leaving out some of the background so it looks more like clouds. Now we can let it dry for a bit while we work on the first sunset again. Again, you can add more color to the paper and in my sunset there
was a tiny bit of pink so I did it around the
area above the water and just use some water to make the paint blend into each other since the first layer
was not completely dry and since the color of the
sky reflects on the water, I also added a pink
layer to the water part. With watercolors, you
really need to be patient and let the paint dry, or otherwise everything will just run into each other as you can see here. You can still remove the
paint with a tissue paper so don’t worry about that. If you don’t want to waste time waiting, you can also use a hairdryer and carefully dry the paint this way, but make sure you do it really carefully or the air will push the water to areas you don’t want it to be. Now we can go back and add
more layers to the water. For the first sunset, you can see the pink was not really dark enough
and you can barely see it, but that’s okay, I kind of like it. Here, I used some blue-colored paint and applied it starting from the area where I wanted the water to start and I just created these water reflections using a flat brush again. Here, the water was
darker in the background, so I just used more paint on the horizon and then used more water to create the lighter water
reflections in the front. As I said, watercolors are
all about being patient and working in layers. Even if you find that something looks off or is too bright or too dark, you can always paint over it or just lift up some of the paint and just intensify the color and make it more saturated if you want. You can really play around with it. If you are afraid of
wasting watercolor supplies because they can be pricey, you can just use cheaper
paper and cheaper paint, because it’s more important you start playing around with it and just get in touch
with it and get familiar and once you get more confident and familiar with the medium, you can go and try out some other and more expensive paper or paint. As you can see with the second sunset, I used way too much water
and this watercolor paper can’t hold so much water that well, so it started to curl a little and that’s why the paint
was just running around but that’s okay, you can
always use a tissue paper and remove some of the water. I feel like it’s really
difficult to explain how to paint a sunset
or sceneries in general. I feel like it’s a lot easier for you guys to just see the process
and how I apply the paint and what I do instead of me
explaining weird stuff in words. The question I got was about
how to blend the colors when it comes to the painting a sunset and there are different methods and it depends on your personal style. I like to use the wet on wet technique that I showed you here where
I just apply the water first and then created a first layer
and then add more paint later and let the colors blend in to each other and from there I just
build up the intensity and created more and more
layers until I’m happy. But it always depends, you can play around and see how it turns out. You don’t have to paint a whole
big painting to find it out, you can just create a
small square on the paper or a few squares on your paper and that’s enough, and just play around. Once you’re happy with the overall sunset you can start adding the darker parts like stones, boats, or something else. Here, I added a few stones in the water and also a person that sits
in the front of the sunset and you can also use
some of the darker paint and add it to the water
as more dark waves. This makes the painting
a lot more realistic and when the paint has dried, you can still go over the painting and see if you want to
add more paint somewhere or change something else, it’s up to you. I feel like watercolors are so forgiving and they do their own magic. Even if you plan out something, they still kind of do what they want. You can just show them the way and control them in some
way but not entirely. But that’s the fun part about it. Remember, this is not the
only way how to paint, I just wanted to show you my way so you’d get the glimpse and some ideas so you can work on your
own way and your own style, and I hope you enjoyed it. If you want to see more
watercolor painting videos, check out my playlist that I
have linked here for you guys and if you enjoyed this
video and found it helpful, be sure to give this video a thumbs up to support this channel,
it would mean a lot to me, and if you’re new to this channel, Don’t forget to subscribe for more arts and crafts
videos in the future and to click on the bell button to get notified when I
have uploaded a new video. Thank you so much for watching guys, have a wonderful day and I
will see you on Saturday, bye!

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