Sunset Bursting Rays


To me, there is nothing like letting a brilliant sunset warm the senses as it bursts with its gorgeous colors only nature can create.  I love the explosion of colors that the sun illuminates the sky with as it sets – for an artist its excitement on steroids.  I love them and decided a couple of months ago to do a series of sunsets.  The four underpaintings are done let me introduce you to the first completed painting, Sunset Bursting Rays.

This is an oil pastel, 11 x 14, completed with a soft pastel underpainting and an alcohol wash.  I’ve included a picture of the underpainting so you could see the beginning stages of this piece.  An issue that Oil Pastelists contend with, is we can’t do glazes or tints to get the illusion of see-through because oil pastels never fully dry.  To create see-through sun rays I used pieces of pipe insulation to spread very thin layers of oil pastels without disturbing the under layers of cloud paint.

May your day be just a little brighter!

Sunset Bursting Rays

Sunset Bursting Rays

Sunset Bursting Rays Underpainting

Sunset Bursting Rays Underpainting

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About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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41 Responses to Sunset Bursting Rays

  1. lorriebowden says:

    This is so beautiful, Mary! Wow!

  2. SO beautiful!! Mary, you are a-m-a-z-i-n-g! 😀

  3. Just dropped by to say hello and see how things are going, and I am blown away by your latest piece. Gorgeous!

    • Mary says:

      Oh Patricia, it’s so nice to hear from you. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment and encouragement.

      I’ve been wondering how you are doing, just went to your blog the other day, but no updates. Hope all is going well with your writing.

      Thanks and take care, Mary

  4. Anonymous says:

    Mary, your latest piece is just wonderful. I love the feeling…Bob

  5. Petronette says:

    Beautiful painting !

  6. violetski says:

    Sooooo beautiful, Mary ! Beautiful art on sky canvas !

  7. it’s unanimous; you’ve captured an amazing beauty of a sunset! well done and soothing! z

  8. Mary, you’ve managed to achieve a wonderful glaze effect-terrific!

    • Mary says:

      Well thank you!!! I have a ways to go w/figuring out getting a glaze-like appearance w/oil pastels, so your comment was like music to my ears. Thanks!

  9. What a stunning picture Mary. Thank your for sharing it.

  10. exiledprospero says:

    Oh, sensational. I’m thinking of William Blake’s artwork now.

    Morning Apotheosis (suggested title).

    • Mary says:

      Oh Ariel’s Prospero how divine – ha I understand! Thank you for the compliment regarding William Blake, I’m flattered as he was quite the artist of his time. Thank you so much. Excellent suggestion for a title – I’ll remember this!

  11. One of my dreams… was to realize a sunset, I’m not the only one it seems 🙂 Stunning

  12. Cat Forsley says:

    bursting with beauty 🙂

  13. Healthy A-Z says:

    WOW!! Bursting indeed! Love this!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Cyndi, thank you so much for your comment. Colors on this one was a lot of fun to layer in and mix, wish you could have see all the colors. At one point I was really starting to wonder if I’d be able to pull this one off. Thanks!!

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