Monday, February 3, 2014

Painting the Sky

Work in Progress

There is a bit of glare on this picture, but you can see the progression of the sky and foreground. I also added another wash of burnt sienna over the canyon area, thickening the coverage, yet still having the ability to see the outlines.
As discussed in my last post, I used transparent magenta for the base coat of the sky. Years ago, I would have automatically selected a tube of blue paint and started covering the top portion of the white canvas with this color. That was the sky, lightened with white, and clouds created in much the same manner.
The problem was that I did not like the finished look of my paintings. So, I began viewing artwork with skies that resonated with me. What I discovered was that most of them contained very little blue. Instead, they were composed with a variety of colors, including pink, purple, orange, and yellow. The drama of stormy scenes with all of these colors, plus the grey tones still remains my favorite type of painting, even though there are few in my portfolio.     
There are even more lessons to learn by observing the raw aspects of nature. In my opinion, this is why many plein air painters excel in painting the landscape. Viewing and studying the sky at different times of the day exposes us to what is really happening with the color transitions.



  1. Oh, this is looking so good! Thanks for the progress shots!

  2. Thank you, Vicki! The hard part is next :)


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