There you are in the High Sierra. The sun has set over a nearby ridge and the light is beginning to fail. As you put on your hat and extra layers to prepare for the night, you look to the east and see the “Belt of Venus”. The blue line, low across the sky made by the shadow of the earth rising in the sky (one of my favorite phenomena). Even though you have yet to prepare dinner are beginning to get the evening chill, you can not help it, you have to paint. You grab your sketchbook and jot the moment in a little “landscapeito”. Keeping the paining small will help you finish the watercolor before you get hypothermia or crash from hypoglycemia. Click on the first sketch to start a step-by-step slideshow.
The painting begins with a light pencil sketch to block in the major masses of the mountain.
The sky is a purple graded wash. The mountain is underpainted with purple and pink.
The sky was still damp from the graded was so the red edge of the earth shadow blends smoothly. If the paper is dry, rewet it with a damp brush before painting the soft red.
Mix a gray blue and paint it into the damp sky below the red edge. This is the core of the earth shadow. Note at this point, the sky does not look luminous. This is because there is not contrast with the surrounding mountains. The sky will only feel bright when next to something dark. Let’s take care of that.
The mountains are painted with Daniel Smith Bloodstone Genuine, one of my favorite colors.
A few details with a drybrush to add to the contrast and it is time to put on another coat and make dinner.