This is an acrylic painting based on a watercolour sketch and photos from my summer holiday in North Wales on the border of Snowdonia.
On the last day of our holiday we leapt in the car and drove up to the hills as it had stopped raining at last and we could tell that there was going to be a dramatic sunset!
I did a quick watercolour painting in my sketchbook which I did inside the car as it was VERY windy!
I used this sketch and some photographs taken at the time as reference for my painting
Initially I sketched out the view in pencil. I then laid down the colours very quickly using acrylic ink. I like to use ink when working on paper as an under painting as it is ver fluid and the colours can be got down on large surfaces quite quickly
Here's a detail of the under painting in acrylic ink...
As always, I started painting the sky first with acrylic paint. I always use a stay-wet palette with my acrylic paints to stop them from drying out and I use a 'flow improver' to mix them with as well as water as it slows down the dying time and creates lovely thin, even washes.
The sky was quite tricky to get right! It was such a dramatic sky, but I also wanted the clouds to look not too solid which was quite a struggle! I used lots of thin washes of lots of greys to achieve this.
I loved painting the golds and oranges of the setting sun.
It was time to start on the hills in the background. They had a pale, misty lilac hue which made them recede into the background and parts of them were obscured by the clouds.
As I worked on the green hills farther forwards, I used glazes of white and green to push them back and lessened this for the hills as they got closer. Sometimes I use my finger to smudge the glazes.
I then worked on the trees in the foreground. They needed to be quite dark and solid looking against the hills.
Finally it was time to work on the scrubby grasses and bushes in the foreground. For green fields there was a surprising amount of different colours and shades! I used a lot more detail in the grasses right at the front of the picture, again to give the perception of depth
The finished painting
The colours look different in the final photograph as the progress shots were only taken with the camera on my phone!
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