Magical Sunrise, oil pastel

Sometimes there are no words, nor man-made colors that can adequately describe mother natures brilliant kiss of color in the sky and over water when she gives us one of her delicious sunrise spectacles  .   .   .

Magical Sunrise, an oil pastel (8×8) was painted on an artist canvas board.  This piece was started with an all purple underpainting in gouache and then two coats of clear gesso for a good amount of tooth allowing the OPs something to grab onto.  Purple was used to get a deep, rich base of color started.  Oil Pastel brands for this painting were Holbeins and Mungyo-Gallery.  No blacks or whites were used in this painting, because I wanted all the colors to be as pure to the pigment as possible, except where blended.  What looks like white is actually Holbeins Hansa Yellow.

So here is where I ran into trouble – 95% done and guess what.  The board was cut wrong by the manufacturer, by about 1/8″ on the bottom left-hand side – so this threw off the entire horizon line.  I accommodated the problem as best as I could so late in the game.  Can you believe this?  So what to do?  First, let the manufacturer know and second, measure the surface (no matter what it is) before I start painting ~

I’m going to let the painting setup and go back at a later date to straighten out the horizon line a bit more.  Click onto the image for a larger view ~

Magical Sunrise

Based on a reference image from Janina Suuronen, who is an awesome photographer and artist from pmp.


About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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90 Responses to Magical Sunrise, oil pastel

  1. Janice Wald says:

    I know Derrick Knight. How great we all connect. This is an art blog! How cool!
    I’m Janice. I came to thank you for visiting my site today. I’m glad you liked my interview.
    Nice to meet you.

  2. lesliepaints says:

    Beautiful! Brave use of reds!

  3. Glorious color saturation here. Magical for sure.

  4. i tried to comment on this, but the slow connection stopped that idea from happening! wow, it’s disappointing when a purchased product isn’t up to specs. the horizon line is something that, to me, is very important, so i can understand why it bothered you.. i would not have noticed it, however, but of course it will always bother you unless you tweak it…

    it’s presently raining, more water for the mosquitoes, but the landscape was thirsty. am glad i’m in town using fast internet, and i’ll be home by noon tomorrow! yay, and the yard won’t need water.
    i can go straight to work on the painting!

    • Mary says:

      So right Z! I’ll probably wait until this weekend and work on the horizon a tad just because I know the problem and every time I look at it I’ll see it. If you can believe it we have had so much rain in North TX really non-stop from March through now the whole of May that all our lakes have been replenished and are at 100% replenished, with only a few at 50% or so – we are very lucky. But that creates an even more dangerous situation with the mosquitoes, we happen to live right in the bulls-eye area for the last two years for West Nile Virus – seriously, we are very lucky not have caught anything with them. Take care and happy you’ll be home tomorrow – happy painting!!

      • i’m glad that the rains have been restoring your water tables, even though the mosquitoes are multiplying. stay smart, and i know you will – dodge mosquitoes, even if the best perfume is one of mosquito repellent!

        • Mary says:

          One of the hazards around here lately, we stay lathered with stuff every time we go out. I only have to look as far as you to get confirmation bad things do happen with those guys. Take care ~

          • for 25 years i’ve been careful, but i had run out of repellent and dragged my ‘feet’ in buying a new bottle.. something so very simple, but i was staying in town at my friend’s hostal and thought nothing of it.. until he vanished and hs mother shrugged and said, ‘he’s gone to the hospital; he has dengue…’ ‘uh oh..’ i thought.. i went to four places before i found repellent, but it was too late!

            • Mary says:

              Too hard of a lesson and price to pay – so sorry for what you’ve been going through. I’m sure your family is worried sick.

              • ha.. i can write this here: a good friend told me that my former husband said, ‘i don’t know what her parents made her from, but it was some strong stuff…’

                i will forever be thankful for the parents and life i was given, and that i awaken happy and positive most every day of my life. i am blessed.. and my family knows that/// it cannot be faked!

              • Mary says:

                What a beautiful thing to write. You, Z are a special and amazing kind of person ~ love it!

              • ah, we can thank the difficult lessons in life that help us grasp a larger picture, one of loving all and realizing that we’re all here to learn.. and to teach.. and to help others along the way.

                still raining here, btw.. the mosquitoes are breeding!

  5. Jenna says:

    What a gorgeous portrayal of a sunrise, Mary! The colors are so vivid and feel very true to life. How frustrating to realize the bottom of the canvas was crooked. That must have been a maddening moment for you. It looks so great, though. Excellent work!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Jenna, thank you so much for your generous comment. Here is what’s so frustrating, I measured w/a T-bar for the horizon line before I got started – so in the end not only was the manufacturer off, but I totally didn’t pay attention to what the T-bar was showing me. A good lesson learned.

  6. dsaquarelles says:

    This is magnificent! the colors are so beautiful! i ❤

  7. ladyfi says:

    Fiery and spectacular!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Fiona – not quite as soft and calming as your gorgeous sunrises, but I was thinking about you as I painted this piece.

  8. Francesca says:

    The colors are so beautiful and warm! Stunning, Mary!

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Francesca! Glad you enjoyed the piece ~ You’ve joined a new site with other bloggers for cooking – will you still maintain your blog and what is the new blog site address? Would love to see what it is all about.

  9. Jet Eliot says:

    It looks flawless to me and captures the glory so brilliantly…but I always appreciate hearing your process, even when it is a frustrating manufacturer’s mistake. Thanks Mary.

  10. Jess says:

    Beautiful colors! Great work Mary.

  11. Angie Mc says:

    I love the blues added to all the warmth ❤

  12. Mary, wonderful painting. I love all the vibrant colors! I am catching up on reading posts as I was a way for a while and then sick. I enjoyed seeing all of your paintings. Have a great week!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Janell – the colors were a fascinating combination to workout in this piece. I so glad you are feeling better and back at it. Have a great week too my friend.

  13. Fantastic work, as always! Good to see your paintings. They are amazing! xoxo

  14. Jackie says:

    Superb work, Mary! What a beautiful sunrise! 🙂

  15. Susan Feniak says:

    Spectacular Mary! XX

  16. Absolutely gorgeous, Mary! 🙂

  17. Amy says:

    Magical, indeed! Your sunrising painting is stunning, that no camera can capture the moment and colors, Mary. ❤

  18. cmartzloff says:

    So rich and expressive! I agree with someone elses comment “dont worry about the cutting”. I don’t notice anything. Usually when someone points something out I might see it but in this case I do not. Beautiful work Mary.

  19. dorannrule says:

    I think you are getting mighty close to duplicating nature here! 🙂

  20. Heidi Hjort says:

    Unbelievably beautiful! Great work, Mary. Don’t worry about the cutting.

  21. Nice vibrant colors Mary. I like the lights peeking through. ~Rita

  22. This is beautiful…and I love the idea of the purple ground and not using any black or white. Had you not mentioned the horizon line, I wouldn’t have noticed….
    I remember when Mount St. Helens erupted in the States (I was in the States at the time) and for one year afterwards the skies were spectacular. People had sunset watching parties:)
    Thanks for starting my day so well, and wishing you a good one. Janet.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Janet, great memory and they were gorgeous. When I lived in San Francisco there were the most amazing sunsets I’ve ever seen and as a backdrop for the skyline – awesome. Thanks again ~

  23. I think you captured it beautifully Mary, the colors are gorgeous. 🙂

  24. kerlund74 says:

    Wow, it’s gorgeous:)

  25. Your treatment is magical too Mary

  26. Painting for Joy says:

    Oh my! The colors are breath taking. The clouds are fabulous. I love it Mary.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Rhonda – so out there for me right? Wish you could see the clouds in person – so many layers and colors. Thank you my friend.

  27. stunning composition as always 🙂

  28. Gallivanta says:

    Fabulous colours, Mary.

  29. Mary, this is stunning! Delicious sunrise, indeed.

  30. lorriebowden says:

    This is so stunningly beautiful!! ♡

  31. Truly magical….it borders on a fine work of abstract art!

  32. Souldiergirl says:

    Wow this is breathtaking

  33. A.PROMPTreply says:

    Movement, power, reflection, and great natural beauty captured on canvas. Now that is the definition of an artist!

  34. Marick says:

    Fire in the sky!

  35. Nicodemas says:

    Mary this is so very gorgeous! Thank you sharing this with us.

  36. What a spectacular sunrise, Mary!!!!!
    Enjoy a …magical week, my dear friend! 🙂

  37. No matter the cut, it’s beautiful, Mary! I love the colors.

  38. Arts & Rhymes says:


  39. seaangel4444 says:

    Mary, it’s absolutely beautiful!! Cher xo

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