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How to Colour a Sunset Background

I have chosen a really small picture for this demonstration. I think it is much easier to start with small backgrounds while you are learning and then build up to larger areas as you get more confident. This is a motif from Worlds of Wonder by Johanna Basford but the method will work for any little picture.

My sky will go from red, through orange to yellow. You can use any brand of pencils for this but the more shades you have, the easier it is to get a smoother transition between colours. I have decided to use my Castle Arts pencils from their botanical set (Red Ochre, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Yellow and Golden Yellow).

I am never sure whether to have the darkest colour (in this case Red Ochre) at the top or bottom but tend to opt for the bottom! So I start with a heavy layer of red and then fade it upwards. To fade it apply a gentler pressure, but also fewer layers of colour.

Then I take the Cadmium Orange and go over the faded red areas with a medium pressure then start to fade it upwards too.

I then repeat the same thing with the Cadmium Yellow.

Lastly, I put a heavy layer of the Golden Yellow over the whole thing. This finishes the effect and blends everything together.

Then you can colour the rest, remembering to choose colours that will not disappear into the background. So avoid the colours you have used already.

I then finished it by adding some white reflection marks to make the bottle look more like glass.

You can get the resources used in this demonstration by clicking on the links below:

Castle Arts Botanical Pencils Set

Worlds of Wonder by Johanna Basford

Sakura Gellyroll White Pen