Thursday, 30 January 2014

Sunset over the Thames at Richmond

Pastel on Clairefontaine Pastelmat, 13 x 19 inches
Back in November, my friend Haidee-Jo Summers (a familiar name to many of you) and I went down for a day of plein air painting by the Thames at Richmond with a band of painters called the Brass Monkeys.  We only did one painting each, nowhere near finished, because poor Haidee developed a migraine (I have this effect on people!), so I dashed to the nearest chemists to get her some Migralieve, which, fortunately, did the trick for her.
On walking back to the car, I snapped a photo of the glorious sunset, which provided the basis for this painting, with a little artistic license.  As you'll know if you're familiar with my daubs, I tend to paint trees with perhaps more apparent detail in oils, so it's sometimes nice to ring the changes and tackle them with Pastels, which gives a softer, more painterly feel, I think. There were an awful lot of subtle changes of tones in the mauves and yellows and the corresponding darker notes, and these had to be observed with a lot of concentration (just in case you thought we artists just hold a magazine in one hand and paint with the other, barely glancing at the paper!)  Sunsets are tricky, getting the brilliance of the oranges and warm sky tones to shine out without getting the darker tones too dark.


  1. You are pretty smashing at painting sunsets Peter, as well as emergency trips to the chemists! Yes the changes in hue but barely noticeable shifts in value on the sunlit parts of the water are very pleasing to my eye.

    1. Ah, thank you Haidee - always boosts the ego to get a nice comment from one of your (small) revered peers!


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