Saturday, June 11, 2011

Paint the Summer Sky and Clouds class results

Who doesn't love to paint a billowing summer cloud looming over the hills? Well, I love it, as you can see from the example above. As promised, this is a PanPastel on Pastelmat, which is turning out to be the frontrunner for me in terms of painting materials, especially for these sky paintings.

I'd like to link you to two chapters in my free online book, called Landscape Painting in Pastels. First, take a look at the sky. There are some generalizations to keep in mind, among them:

  1. The sky is lightest at the horizon.
  2. The sky is darkest at the zenith.
  3. Even a slight gradation suggests this arch.
  4. Use more than one color layer.
  5. Winter skies tend to be purple-blue.
  6. Summer skies tend to be green-blue.
  7. The sky is brighter in the sun’s quadrant.
  8. The sky slightly darkens opposite the sun.
And next let's examine the clouds. Likewise, some 'rules' you might want to take into consideration:

  1. Clouds are whitest directly overhead.
  2. Clouds are dull and yellow-pink at the horizon.
  3. No cloud is pure white.
  4. Do not begin clouds with white.
  5. Try the green-peach-lavender triad for grays.
  6. Clouds have tops, bottoms and sides.
  7. Clouds cast shadows on other clouds.
  8. Clouds glow from the center outwards.
I suggest finding a photograph that is inspiring but not so complex that you're baffled about how to paint it. Do some cropping, if so, and find what expresses the scene without overwhelming you, or take it into a photo program and use a filter such as Smart Blur in Photoshop, to simplify it to shapes and values/colors. Print that out and use it as your resource, at least to begin with.

If you look down at the last post you'll see a photo of a painting demo I did at IAPS using the same photograph for inspiration. Don't limit yourself, thinking you've already painted that one--"paint it again, Sam!"

Keep going, gang!