New Painting: Fire in the Sky

One of my favorite things about Hawaii are the amazing sunsets and sunrises. They can be inspiring spectacles of colors and light. In this painting, I seek to capture the feeling of viewing the sun near the horizon in Hawaii. I want to avoid distracting details but capture the emotions which arise while witnessing such a scene.

Here We Go

Sketch phase. I spent more time on this than I often do and that is because I knew that much of this would be very near to its final state. I had a pretty firm grasp on where I would put the different elements of the composition, so I focused more on painting the silhouette which would serve as a frame to a glorious heavenly display which would soon be painted in.

The Hawaiian Color Scheme

Here I painted in some horizontal strokes of color for the cloud base, sky, and ocean at the bottom. Getting these colors correct is actually more difficult than it probably looks. I also cleaned up and fine tuned the trees and bushes although at this size it might be difficult to see here. Once I felt that the colors caught the mood I wanted I moved on.

The Sky

Here I brought in a bright yellow sun and carefully edged it with a bright, richer yellow to ground it in the sky better. After that, I started working on the sides of the painting; painting in the actual clouds and textures in the sky.

Working the Middle

I continued working on the sky. Finishing the sides and then moving on to the center. Getting the sky and clouds around the sun just right was the most challenging part of this painting. At this point I’ve also blocked in the ocean more solidly and worked the horizon itself. Then I added some glow around the trees and bushes in places I felt the sunlight would overpower the shadows.

The Finished Painting

I finished the clouds, painted some direct sun rays into the scene, and added small reflections in the ocean for the finishing details. This is definitely one of my favorite paintings I have done so far. I hope you like it too.

If you would like to purchase this painting for yourself you can do so here.

Be sure to follow me on facebook, google+, and/or twitter (links on the right) and sign up for the newsletter for up-to-date news, interesting links, articles, and contests as well.  Thank you for reading and as always, please comment, like, and share with your friends.

Michael Simpson