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How To Watercolor Paint A Sunset Sky Without Reference Images

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Follow along in this step-by-step tutorial with Steve Curl as he demonstrates how to watercolor paint a colorful sunset sky with silhouettes from his imagination. No reference image needed! Want to watch the video version? This tutorial is also available to members of our Watercolor University.

Materials used:

  • A sheet of Arches cold press watercolor paper (140lb, size 6″ x 9″)
  • HB or 2B pencil
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Painting palette for watercolor paints
  • A container of water
  • A towel or rag to rest brushes on
  • Tissue or paper towel

Paints (Holbein Artist’s Watercolors)

  • Cadmium Yellow Light
  • Aureolin
  • Cadmium Yellow Orange
  • Cadmium Red Deep
  • Permanent Alizarin Crimson
  • Opera
  • Ultramarine Deep
  • Cobalt Blue
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Peacock Blue
  • Payne’s Grey
  • Neutral Tint

Brushes

  • Silver Brush Black Velvet: Cat’s tongue brush (¾” width)
  • Stratford & York Warwick Series: Round sable brush (size 12)
  • Stratford & York Warwick Series: Round sable brush (size 8)