Long, black, land and fiery ringlets….

Although the poem by Robert Browning is most likely more about the moon than the setting sun, for some reason this is always the one that springs to my mind when I see a sunset.  It’s the bit about “the long black land”. “The grey sea and the long black land and the yellow half-moon, large and low.  And startled little waves that leap, in fiery ringlets from their sleep” at least, that’s how my memory says it goes!

This is a good sunset quote, too, “The sky broke like an egg into full sunset and the water caught fire.” Pamela Hansford Johnson.

I just love a good sunset and the reference to this piece – which is actually the cover of a really small sketch book that my daughter gave me (because she “accidentally painted it pink and yucky when she was a child” – She’s 13 and black is her fave colour now).  Not one to waste a cute little book that still had almost all of its blank pages, ready to be draw in and maybe would even fit in my purse (The cover of this book is about 3″x4″), I took it, re-covered it with canva paper and painted a sunset on it.  So now I have a really special little sketch book…ready to go! 

This was also a good excuse to try out an exercise in both color harmony and a limited palette. I used Cadmium Red Medium, Cad Yellow, Ultramarine, a touch of Ivory Black and of course, good old Titanium White( the acrylic painters best friend!) Oh and also a good dollop of Acrylic Glazing Liquid….slows the drying time and allows for cloud layers and interesting glazing effects. I’m quite pleased with how it turned out – I think I proved to myself that I have learned something about color in my painting over the last year or so – mostly courtesy of Will Kemp and his online Art School. Thanks Will! (http://willkempartschool.com/)

The reference I used is from several years ago, when we had a family vacation in Clinton, CT.  We rented a house near the beach and every night we were treated with the most jaw droppingly awesome sunsets! (Every night except one, when there was a ferocious thunderstorm instead…gotta love that beach weather!)

Next time, I might try this one thick and juicy with a palette knife – But I’ll be sure to paint it BIGGER! 🙂









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