Watercolour painting created by Libby Hyett, art work named Little Girl Lost

I finished painting the Sunrise over the Blue Mountains.

It's perhaps my best ever painting. I've made a short video about the process, and posted it to my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/libbyhyettstudiogal


LINK TO VIDEO: https://fb.watch/bBFwtBLBc9/

Libby Hyett artist, with her landscape oil painting, of the blue mountains at sunrise
Me and my Blue Mountains sunrise painting! All finished and feeling very proud.

It's a large painting, too large to exhibit in the Hawkesbury Show, although it's still within the size limit for the Sydney Royal Easter Show, so I've entered it in there. It's currently drying under a ceiling fan in the lounge room. Oil paint takes so long to dry, and it's pouring rain here, and the humidity is super high. I didn't think air moisture made much of a difference to oil paint curing, because the paint isn't water based and the drying is caused by a chemical reaction with oxygen. I don't know, maybe if there's extra water in the air, there's less oxygen? No, that can't be right either, because if that was so, folk with emphysema or asthma would tell about it.


I began painting it about two years ago. I worked on it for about four weeks, and it was almost finished. Then I left it to dry (for two years)!! I wanted to bring out the sky and the red colour in the cliffs. I wasn't sure how to do it!!


The video picks up at the point where, last week, I took the plunge and added clouds in the sky, then a pink-orange glaze over the WHOLE painting.


Please watch the video! It's lovely, and I'll make more videos in future.

LINK TO VIDEO: https://fb.watch/bBFwtBLBc9/


When the canvas was white, the first step was to paint the sky. I had decided that the sun was rising behind Mt Solitary. Sunrise is made from yellow, red (a pink shade of red) and white. It is yellowest where the sun will rise, and gradually moves through orange to pink. Around the edges of the sky, work in some warm blue to make the sky look more realistic.



After I painted the sky (without any clouds), I started the mountains, working from far to near. My Year Four teacher, Mrs Brickwood, had told the class that mountains in the distance were purple. She's right. I worked backwards from purple to blue to green. The lighting at sunrise made the colouring more complicated, because the trees closer to me were darker than usual.


The colours in the sandstone cliffs had delighted me, when I saw this scene at sunrise for the first time! I've actually never seen it quite the same again, although I've returned many times. The weather has been different, the mist rising from the valley below has been different, and the time of day has been different! This view into the Keduba Valley is popular and beloved by visitors to the Blue Mountains.


It was particularly spectacular at sunrise because of the red sandstone cliffs. They were an impossible ruby red. I couldn't believe what I was witnessing, but as Mrs Brickwood told the class, "draw what you see, not what you think you see!"


To finish the painting, I did just that. I glazed with my favourite paint colour - rose madder, mixed with linseed oil. I also glazed with indian yellow, which used to be made from cow's urine (thankfully, isn't nowadays)!



My genius is taking over the house like a weed

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