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Art Show: Plein Air 2008: Clouds

Sunrise Magic

by Karen Dukes

Banner for Plein Air 2008: Clouds art show

Art: Sunrise Magic by Artist Karen Dukes
This was a view of an early sunrise near the hills where I live in Northern California in early May 2008. It has been a dry year and the foothills turned yellow early this year. An unexpected storm had come through the day before and what was left the next morning was a gorgeous cloud layer over the hills with the morning sun finding its way up over the hills. It's rays were shining through each hole in the clouds it could find and gave the lower foothills their first light for the day. With my canvas in hand and charcoal, I quickly sketched the clouds first and the position of the sun at it's most gorgeous spot in the clouds. The hills were added in and then I started to paint with acrylics on my canvas. My canvas had earlier been prepared with a light wash of yellow ochre. I put the values of the sky in with cerulean blue and white and the sun with yellow orange azo. The darker values of the storm clouds are laced with prussian blue. To give the hills a warm feel, I decided to use red orange and cadmuim red highlighted with the yellow orange azo I used for the sun. A touch of light emerald green in the hills shows the last bit of spring for the year and some cadmium yellow for the feel of light. I choose a sunrise because early mornings are my favorite part of each day.

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