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Monday, April 29, 2013

Demo Monday...Painting a Happy Sky

'Passing Clouds'             11x14            pastel         ©Karen Margulis
available for purchase in my Etsy shop $165
I am fascinated by clouds. I search out opportunities to put clouds into my paintings.  I love all types of clouds....white puffy clouds to dark stormy ones. I am drawn to painting them.  But clouds can be challenging to paint. The struggle is to make them look like they are a part of the sky and not stuck on like cotton balls.   

I have learned some great sky and cloud tips that have helped me.  I am working on a mini booklet on painting skies and clouds filled with the pearls of wisdom I have collected.  In today's demo and this week's blog posts I will be painting clouds and sharing some tips.


I am working on 11x14 Wallis Belgian Mist. I will do not underpainting or block in but get right to the painting with my softest pastels. I am using Diane Townsend pastels. I start by putting in the darkest colors which is the land.


Next I begin with the sky and put down some cool dark blues using the side of my pastel.



I continue to lay in the blues of the sky getting progressively lighter and warmer. Near the horizon I use pale pinks.


After all of the sky colors are put in I add some lavender for the start of the clouds. Then I blend all of these colors together with the side of my palm.


The next step is to build up the clouds. I start with the dark bases of the 'puffy white clouds'. I use lavender, peach and green.  The thinner wispier clouds can be lightly scumbled on top of the blue sky.


 I needed to darken the cloud bases somewhat by adding a gray purple. Next I add the light part of the clouds using pale peach and pale yellow....they are so pale that they are near white. I don't use any pure white.  Finally I work on the ground plane. I just add some reds and ochres and dark greens.  I don't put any detail in the foreground as this painting is all about the sky. (see top photo for the finish)

2 comments:

Catherine Selinger said...

Excellent info Karen. Can't wait until your booklet about skies and clouds is available! Will this be downloadable?

Karen said...

Thanks Catherine! I am planning to make the booklet downloadable. Now just to find the tome to complete it!!