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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Inspiring Skies...An Idea for Painting More Interesting Skies

'Wild Wild West'       8x10      pastel    ©Karen Margulis sold
I find I get into a 'Sky Rut' sometimes.  That's when I paint the same blue sky with happy white puffy clouds.  It is easy to paint the same kind of sky over and over because it works. I know the colors to use an how to get the effect I want. It becomes a formula. I need to remind myself that the sky isn't always blue and clouds aren't always white and puffy.  So I have a few ideas for helping me to break free of a sky rut.

'I Can See Forever'       8x10      pastel

  • Pay attention to the sky!  Don't be too busy to look up once in awhile and observe the sky. Take a picture with your phone. Try to describe what you see in visual terms....what color is the sky? What shape are the clouds? What colors do you see?  By actively studying the sky you are adding this information to your memory so you can recall it the next time you need fresh ideas for a sky in a painting.
  • Paint small sky studies. Try painting small 5x7 10 minute studies of clouds and skies. Experiment with different colors and mark making. Studies are not meant to be precious so you are free to try new ideas.
  • Study the work of other artists. See how others paint the sky. Analyze the work and try to figure out how they achieved their skies....what colors did they use? How was the paint applied?  Try doing a sky painting that is inspired by another artist. Not only is this a lot of fun, it is a great learning tool.  
For the paintings in today's post I was inspired by color palettes I found while flipping through an art magazine. I also tried to use different marks than I usually do. 

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