Painting process: Cloudscape 30 x 30 inches on board

I love painting cloudscapes because of the freedom I feel in my expressive movements of the paint.  Movement is key in painting clouds.  Without it they just look  like a cut out pasted in the sky.  Here is my initial sketch, you can see where I am hinting at direction and movement.
I love painting cloudscapes because of the freedom I feel in my expressive movements of the paint. Movement is key in painting clouds. Without it they just look like a cut out pasted in the sky. Here is my initial sketch, you can see where I am hinting at direction and movement.
I begin layering in the ground below with a palette knife straight away.  I want the painting to feel spontaneous.  I will add  thicker layers on as I move towards the parts of the land with sun shining on it.  I am doing this fairly quickly, don't want to over think this stage.
I begin layering in the ground below with a palette knife straight away. I want the painting to feel spontaneous. I will add thicker layers on as I move towards the parts of the land with sun shining on it. I am doing this fairly quickly, don’t want to over think this stage.
Moving on to the darker clouds near the horizon line.  Working from dark to light so my clouds really stand out.
Moving onto the darker clouds near the horizon line. Working from dark to light so my clouds really stand out.
At this time I move back to the ground below and adjust the greens and yellows.
At this time I move back to the ground below and adjust the greens and yellows.
Now I can begin to lay in the blue sky and see my clouds take shape.  I layer this on thickly because I will not be going over it with any other layers of color.
Now I can begin to lay in the blue sky and see my clouds take shape. I layer this on thickly because I will not be going over it with any other layers of color.
The blue starts as a very vibrant royal blue then goes a bit sky blue then into turquoise as it meets the darker clouds below.
The blue starts as a very vibrant royal blue then goes a bit sky blue then into turquoise as it meets the darker clouds below.
Once I am satisfied with the way the sky meets the ground I move on to the grey parts of the clouds.  There are warm and cool greys so I alternate these according to the light source.  I like to mix various versions of warm grey using French Ultramarine, Burnt Umber, Naples Yellow and White.  To get cooler greys I omit the naples yellow and sometimes add a teeny amount of vivid pink (pebeo colour).
Once I am satisfied with the way the sky meets the ground I move onto the grey parts of the clouds. There are warm and cool greys so I alternate these according to the light source. I like to mix various versions of warm grey using French Ultramarine, Burnt Umber, Naples Yellow and White. To get cooler greys I omit the naples yellow and sometimes add a teeny amount of vivid pink (pebeo colour).
Ooooops!  In the midst of my expressive paint application there was a casualty.  I broke one of my favourite knives for larger paintings.  But I do have a back up.  Always be prepared so you do not interrupt your creative flow.
Ooooops! In the midst of my expressive paint application there was a casualty. I broke one of my favourite knives for larger paintings. But I do have a back up. Always be prepared so you don’t interrupt your creative flow.
I have now lightened up the clouds to where I can add pure titanium white.  Big and bold marks are the key here.
I have now lightened up the clouds to where I can add pure titanium white. Big and bold marks are the key here.
Finished!  I think it will look better when I take a proper picture of this outside.  I should have a better photo of this up on my official website by the end of the weekend.  I might do another cloudscape.  I think I can take some lessons I learned through this process and iron them out a bit more on the next one.  But I am very happy with this result.
Finished! I think it will look better when I take a proper picture of this outside. I should have a better photo of this up on my official website by the end of the weekend. I might do another cloudscape. I think I can take some lessons I learned through this process and iron them out a bit more on the next one. But I am very happy with this result.
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4 Comments

  1. I enjoyed seeing your processing in creating this lovely piece. Your work is such a pleasure to view . Thankyou.

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