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How to Paint Realistic and Abstract Sunsets in Oil; Step by Step instructions on painting sunsets in oil on canvas.

Enjoy beautiful colorful books of sunsets with original sunset art, sunset paintings and step by step books about how to paint sunsets:



Paperback Books; $18.95 each

Entire PDF eBooks: $15 each

All art books are also available on and Barns and Noble.

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See the Sunset book is an almost true story about an artist inspired by the sunsets. The book contains beautiful illustrations with original sunset paintings and sunset poems by Gina De Gorna.

How to Paint Sunset paintings books are a great tool for improving your painting skills, art therapy, art classes, self enjoyment, and stress relief. Bottom of Form

To see more of Gina De Gorna's original sunset art, please visit:

For any comments or questions, please send an email to:

Misconceptions about Art

Painting Sunsets Could Be VERY Therapeutic and Stress Relieving. How to Paint Realistic and Abstract Sunsets in Oil; Step by Step Instructions on Painting Sunsets in Oil on Canvas:


Painting Sunsets Could Be Very, Very Therapeutic and Stress Relieving

How do I do it and how long does it take?

How to Paint a Colorful Sunset Oil Painting?

Please Enjoy:

Oil Painting INDIGO Sunset Seascape, Canvas on Board, 18x24",  by Gina De Gorna

Materials for the Sunset Oil Painting:

1. Stretched Primed Canvas or Canvas on Board suitable for Oil Paintings. 
2. FLAT Bristle Oil Painting Brushes: 2'' and smaller.
3. Metal Palette Knife medium size.
4. Oil Paint Colors: Titanium White; Cobalt Blue; Ultramarine Blue; Light Yellow; Orange; Alizarin Crimson.
5. Medium dark flat purple acrylic paint.
6. The softest 2" flat brush you can find in a craft store. 
7. Paper Towels.
8. Disposable palette, disposable gloves and disposable apron so you don't have to clean the palette and yourself longer than you paint, but to focus only on the FUN PART of the painting process :)


1. Follow the Step by Step instructions.
2. There's no need to dilute or pre-mix the oil paints. Remember: over mixing oil paint results in a muddy and grayish look of a painting.
3.Oil paints are special - each color is made of specific pigment and each color mixes in a unique way with the other colors. You need to mix the right oil paints in order to get the shade/color you need in your painting.  If you do not use the recommended Oil Colors, I suggest you make some color samples first by mixing a very small amount of different paints on a piece of canvas, palette or even paper just to get to know your oil paints. 
4. Use the recommended brush strokes for each STEP. For the brush strokes: practice, experiment, practice, experiment..even on a piece of paper first until you feel the brush and are happy with the results.
5. Do not overdo things. Overworking is never good for a painting.
6. Enjoy painting SUNSETS and Have FUN :)))

Establishing background Under Color, Horizon Line and Light Source are extremely important for the overall look of the painting.

Apply Medium dark flat purple acrylic paint to the entire canvas surface with the 2" brush and let the canvas and the brush dry completely! When the surface is dry, establish the HORIZON LINE and the light source - the SUN. Use a small brush with dark color for the Horizon line of the painting  and use pure white paint for the sun.

Tips: Use X brush strokes to smooth the under color. Do not under estimate the precise placement of the Horizon and the Sun. This will save you time and struggle later. If you have to, use measuring tape and a long straight wood piece like a ruler for the Horizon.

How to Paint Colorful Sunset Oil Paintings: STEP TWO:
Establishing basic sketch/idea of darks and lights is very important for the BALANCE of the painting.

Apply  the darkest and the lightest spots/ lines by using smaller flat brush or a palette knife.

Tips: Use loose strokes and do not dilute the paint.

How to Paint Colorful Sunset Oil Paintings: STEP THREE:
Establishing the BACKGROUND Colors.

Apply all COLORS for the Background of the whole painting with a brush or a palette knife. The strokes must follow the lines of the composition. Use only Cobalt Blue Paint for the sky and white; orange and yellow around the sun. 

Tips: Use unmixed colors and do not dilute the paint.

How to Paint Colorful Sunset Oil Paintings: STEP FOUR:

The purpose of this step is to blend the colors/ the oil paint of the Backgrounds both for the sky and for the sea.  The sky needs a smooth background for the clouds to float and the Sea needs a blended background colors for the ripples and the highlights. The background should be nice and light.  Use the palette knife to take any excess/ thick paint from the surface of the painting.

1. Do not overwork the blending. 
2. At this point,  clean often the brushes with paper towels;  NOT in turpentine!
3. Use appropriate brush strokes to give direction of the paint.
4. Use big clean brush with very light strokes for the final blending of the painting.

How to Paint Colorful Sunset Oil Paintings: STEP FIVE:
Applying fresh oil paint for clouds and foreground. 

Here you must think cloud shapes, ripples, reflections and highlights. Use Ultramarine Blue and Alizarin Crimson to shape the clouds. Now you may pre-mix yellow, orange and white to get the peach color. Use the edge of a Palette Knife to put light color paint for highlights and white at the sun and the lightest highlights.

1.  Use darker colors at the corners of the painting. This helps to focus easily at the focal point - THE SUN and its rays and reflections.
2. Do not over highlight! Choose carefully where to put the lightest highlights.

How to Paint Colorful Sunset Oil Paintings: STEP SIX:
Blending the oil paint and shaping puffy clouds by pushing the corner of a big bristle brush.  If you put too much paint, or if you overworked some part, scrape it out with the palette  knife and reapply fresh paint.

1. Do not overwork the clouds. Otherwise they'll look muddy and heavy. 
2. Do not overkill the highlights. If you do so, reapply fresh paint.
3. Use very light circle motions to blend with the softest brush possible. Wipe/clean the brush often with a paper towel. Do not clean the brush in turpentine - you need a DRY brush for the clouds.
4. Absolutely no hard edges in the sky. The sky and clouds must be soften well in order to look in the distance.
5.Do not use cotton for the clouds of an oil painting. Cotton sticks to the paint and then you can't remove it. Use bigger brush with less paint and just push with light strokes, then clean the brush and soften the clouds. 

How to Paint Colorful Sunset Oil Paintings: STEP SEVEN:
Establishing FOREGROUND details of the Sunset Oil Painting is important for the Perspective. The light soft clouds at the back NEED sharp contrasting edges and sparkles for the foreground.

1. Do not over blend the foreground of the painting.
2. Use the long edge of the palette knife for the ripples and highlights.

How to Paint Colorful Sunset Oil Paintings - LAST STEP:
After the oil paint of the painting has dried, readjusting of overall Balance and light touches may be done to fix some details by applying and blending more paint. 

Sign your oil painting with a long thin round brush with some very diluted paint or just use a permanent marker. 

Retouch Varnish may be applied for protection of the Oil Painting. This Retouch Varnish allows the oil painting to further dry and at the same time it provides some luster and protection for the oil paint.  

1. Do not overdo the finishing touches, otherwise you may lose the painting :(
2. Practice your signature first before applying it with paint. 

PLEASE NOTE: Oil paints need 6 months to dry in full. Only after 6 months, some OIL PAINTING FINISH VARNISH may be applied for further protection of the Oil Paintings. You may purchase both Retouch Varnish and OIL PAINTING FINISH VARNISH at any Craft Store.


Also, I'd like to add that I'm very happy when my Sunsets and/or any of my other Oil Paintings inspire anyone to paint.  
Sunsets, Abstracts or Whatever...And of course, you may use my other paintings for practice:)
For more information on my Oil Paintings; Private Art Opinion or Tutoring,
Feel free to drop me a line, or just let me see your sunset oil paintings :)
Please send an e-mail to:

|Sunset Art Gallery| |Gallery Contact| |New Sunset Art| |Tropical Sunset Art| |Purple Sunset Art|
 |Red Sunset Art| |Gold Sunset Art| |Blue Sunset Art||Colorful Sunset Art|  B & W Sunset Art| |Abstract Sunsets| |About the Artist| |Sunsets-The Story| |Sunsets Quotes|

Heal with Art Article by Gina De Gorna

You may purchase any of Gina De Gorna sunset books on Amazon:




Enjoy a list of all art styles with the description:

Art Styles


A collection of Sunset Quotes and sayings:

Sunset Quotes


More Information about Color - article by Gina De Gorna

More about Color Article by Gina De Gorna


A very interesting wise story about life:

Marbles of Life, a Story


Art Dictionary including common art related terms here:

Art Dictionary


Sunset Story, by Gina De Gorna

Sunset, the Story