Sundown on the Marsh ~ mixing up the palette!

I recently painted a marsh scene on a bright sunny day, with a blue sky and blue reflections in the water. That time of day provided strong reflections and contrast between the white cumulus clouds and the blue sky.  A collector, who liked the painting, said “can you paint me a similar marsh scene but late in the day?”  

The setting sun disappears beyond the horizon, but its rays still light up the sky and casts a glow over the marsh.  Sundown on the Marsh is that moment when day transitions into night. It’s a quiet reflective moment, where the winding waterways lead one off into the distance, pondering what tomorrow will bring.  

    Sundown on the Marsh    by William R. Beebe, 14 x 11, Oil on board, SOLD

Sundown on the Marsh by William R. Beebe, 14 x 11, Oil on board, SOLD

I used a transparent red-oxide paint as an undercoating for most of the green areas. Letting the undercoat show through in areas created an appearance of warmth from the setting sun touching the tops of the tree line and the tall marsh grasses.  

Darkening clouds, with just a little bit of slate-blue sky helped to create the overall darkness cast over the marsh grasses. Naples yellow light and white were mixed to create the yellowish glow in the sky, resulting from the remaining rays of light from the setting sun.  

This painting was about creating a mood. Even though the sky is dramatic it is not stormy or brooding. The vibrant summer green grasses are dulled by the loss of light, with touches of stronger color in the center of the painting as the grasses recede closer to the sun.  

I enjoyed this opportunity to paint my clients vision. Sundown on the Marsh is a scene I’ve wanted to paint. I’m enjoying painting marsh scenes very much, and will be constantly on the lookout for Lowcountry marsh scenes to paint in the future.  

Thank you for reading my journal and for your interest in my art. I am now on Instagram so if you’re not on Facebook but would like to follow what I’m up to, I post pics on a regular basis of what I’m working on. 

I’m finishing up another downtown Charleston painting and will be posting that in the near future and writing a blog about it in the next week or so. Thanks again y’all!  ☺


One of the joys of being an artist is having the freedom to follow my passion...
— William R. Beebe
 What's next?  Drawing by William R. Beebe

What's next?

Drawing by William R. Beebe