Its not so much a sunset as a late afternoon in September, or how I imagined a late afternoon would look, here, beside this lake. It was summertime when I was here and I intended to paint this scene at some point. At the time the trees were fully laden and everywhere was an intense green. I think I needed Autumn to tell the story of this place and give a sense of what a beautiful place it was in former times. There is great work in progress at the moment in restoring the estate and hopefully it will continue.
As I said the scene is not a sunset, but even so, we expect silhouetted shapes in the foreground when viewing a sunset. I wanted the best of both worlds, a kind of sunset but a well lit landscape as well. It was a matter of getting the sky just bright and red enough to suggest the setting sun. I left this part of the sky (on the right hand side) unfinished until the mid and foreground colours were roughly put in before the light was added, to get the balance right. The red I mentioned was painted with solvent only, in Burnt Sienna and white. A little raw Burnt Sienna was added to vary the intensity and add random shapes in this area. By the time I got to painting this part in final colours, the solvent had evaporated and the paint was fixed so not much mixing happened. As you probably know, I’m using Alkyd colours and they really start to dry very quickly, especially when solvent only is used.
Burnt Sienna was also allowed to peep through the final colours as a way of tying ground and sky together, reducing the sunset effect and the expectation of silhouettes.
Here is the video of the process. See you soon.