|'Land of Magic' 18x24 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
When I was in Iceland earlier in the month I had a bumper crop of exciting skies. We only had 3 clear days but even they were filled with changeable and beautiful skies. I was happy for the studio time in Iceland on our overcast and rainy days. It allowed me to work on studies while the colors and feelings were fresh and available. Below are a few of the studies I painted while in Iceland. Working from life is always a great idea but I have another tip for painting clouds....read on!
I have learned much about painting clouds and skies and I have distilled it into 10 tips and techniques for painting more effective skies and clouds. I am working on a way to share all of my tips but for now I will share a tip that has really helped me whenever I am putting clouds in a landscape painting.
PAINT CLOUDS THAT WORK IN YOUR COMPOSITION EVEN IF THEY AREN'T EXACTLY HOW YOU SEE THEM. YOU ARE AN ARTIST....NOT A CAMERA. DESIGN YOUR SKY!
If you are working from photos the clouds will rarely be perfectly arranged. It is a moment in time and clouds move! If you are working from life you will be at the mercy of a changing sky. It is important that we make a mental image of the clouds....colors,values, shapes and then use this information to paint an impression of the sky.
Place the clouds so that they help support the design of your painting. Can they be placed to lead the viewer's eye into the painting? Avoid unusual shapes that have to be explained. Good skies are not random...they are designed!
If you are in the Atlanta area I will be offering a one day workshop devoted to painting more effective skies and clouds. I have a few openings. Email me firstname.lastname@example.org to register.