Let’s make this Colored Pencil Sunset Art Journal Page together today. This is another page that’s easy to do with limited supplies and is very relaxing to create.
I’ll walk you through it step by step, so don’t worry if you’re not super comfortable with drawing. You’ve got this!
Colored Pencil Sunset | Art Journal Page
- Colored pencils
- Thin black brush pen. I use the Micron Brush pen.
- Thick black pen or marker. I used the Pitt Artist Brush Pen.
A note before we begin. I drew straight onto my art journal page, which is a lightly textured mixed media paper. This means that the final drawing with have visible texture. If you want it to look completely smooth, you may want to draw on a separate piece of paper and then paste it into your art journal. For super smooth paper, you’re looking for drawing paper with a “vellum” finish. However, I also like the way the texture finish looks. It’s all up to personal preference.
Start by putting a large piece of scrap paper behind your page to protect the rest of your journal in case your color off the page. Now every drawing you do of a landscape will need a horizon line. I wanted most of the focus in the drawing to be on the sunset, so I drew a horizon line lightly with black colored pencil across the bottom of the page, about a quarter of the way up. Start by taking a light yellow pencil, and drawing a half circle shape right on the horizon line and coloring it in. Use a light peach pencil to outline this shape on the top , and use the bright yellow to blend the two colors together.
We’re just going to start adding layers of color, blending each layer slightly into the one before it. I used bright orange, medium orange, and red orange. Make sure to use a light hand, as you can always add more color but it’s harder to remove it. Now add some plum color in, spreading it out to the edges of the page.
Let’s add in some clouds. Take a medium pink shade and draw a few wispy clouds going across the sky. Next take your plum shade and add some to the top of the clouds, and some light pink to the bottom of the clouds. I also added in some peach coming off the bottom and off the sides.
Next I’m taking a medium blue and an indigo blue and coloring in around the clouds, filling in the rest of the page.
Here’s one of my magic tricks for blending out colored pencil and creating a soft pastel look to the whole thing. Grab your white colored pencil. Yep. The one colored pencil you never use. Start coloring over the whole sunset with your white pencil, starting with the yellow and working your way to the darker colors. Don’t be afraid to press hard and smear the colors around a bit.
Here I just did the right side of the page to show you the difference between the the original sketch and the side that has been blended with the white pencil.
This is what it looks like when it’s fully blended. If you’re working on smooth paper rather than textured, the finished blend will look much smoother.
Now we’re going to take that thick black marker and trace the horizon line, and color everything below it solid black. If you have trouble getting the black to be solid, you can layer colored pencil and marker to make it extra dark.
We’re getting to my favorite part, where we add the tress that make the sunset really pop. For this you’ll want a brush pen. I like a super thin brush pen, because they’re great for creating the varied thick and thin, jagged lines that branches are made of. Like in the picture, you’ll be holding our brush pen almost straight up and down, and holding your wrist off the page. This allows your hand to move freely and also uses the natural shake of your hand to create the branches. If you’re nervous about this part, go ahead and practice making branches on a piece of scrap paper.
I made one tree on the side of the page, but wanted to show you step by step how to make this big one in the middle of the page. Once you learn how to make one tree, the rest are easy. Start by drawing two lines coming off the horizon, curving inwards. From there, draw three to five large branches that end in points. Color the whole thing in solid black. Off the the big branches, draw three to five medium branches, wiggling the pen to create jagged lines. You want these branches to be thicker at the base and thinner at the ends. You can always go back in an thicken them up a bit if you need to. Now off of each of these, start drawing tiny branches that come off in different directions. Some longer, some shorter. Variation is what makes drawn trees look real.
You can see the variation in branches clearly here, and the brush pen is the key to drawing trees like this easily.
Here’s the finished tree! It actually brings more attention to the sunset, and creates a whole scene. You could even add a little bird flying in the sky or perched on one of the branches if you’d like
And we’re all done! The thing I love the most about art journaling is the ability to use so many different styles of art in one place. I hope you enjoy making this colored pencil sunset art journal page, and I can’t wait to see what you create!