Sunrise sketch - 14 Jan 2011 - Near Concord, NH

Sunrise – Snowy Skies – 14 Jan 2011

This morning’s skies looked ominous at first, and the colors were there for just a couple of minutes.  I was glad that I’d already set out my palette with the colors I was likely to need.

This was a small, fast oil sketch on an 8″ x 10″ canvasboard.

Many sunrises feature the brightest colors dusted on the surface of the clouds.  This was one of those other mornings, when the colors were inherent to the sky, and acted as a backdrop for clouds ranging from white to lilac to lavender.

Sunrise painting - detail - 14 jan 2011The snow reflects the skies colors, so it was like watching a flashing sign or something, as the snow went from muted blues and greys to shades of peach and orange… just for a second.

When I work this quickly, the paint runs the gamut of something thick like lathered butter to just grazed color as my brush skims the surface of the canvas.

At right, that’s about a 1 1/2″ section of the canvas, to show you the textures, colors and brushstrokes in the work.

Since I plan to clean off my palette today, I was freer with the white paint than usual.  It’s a habit that I want to get into.  (Using the paint with more freedom and abandon, that is.)

On my errands today, I’ll be buying more paint.  This time, I’m investing in the big tubes of white and blue.  I usually buy white in volume, but since I mix most of my colors from red, yellow and blue, I’m going through a lot of blue (French Ultramarine blue) with the sky and the snowcover.

I’m really enjoying starting my day with these sketches.  The art puts me in a strong and happy frame of mind, and I think everything else goes better when I begin the morning like that.

And, yes, my computer keyboard now has paint on it.  I didn’t clean my hands — which always end up with paint on them — before sitting down to post this.

It’s time for me to get ready for a day of errands now… with a smile because I was able to capture a truly lovely (if fleeting) sunrise.