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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sky Painting Tip #4 Painting Large Skyscapes

'Back to the Beach'         18x24       pastel        ©Karen Margulis
available $350
Have you painted something large lately? I tend to be a very small format painter. Most of my paintings are 9x12 and smaller. But I LOVE to paint large. There is something very liberating about a big piece of paper and a tray of pastels. We are free to move and respond with large marks. We are no longer contained by borders of a small support.

Painting a large skyscape is one of the best ways to improve our  skies and clouds.

The sky is larger than life. It isn't easy to fit it into a small space and give the illusion of how grand it really is. Clouds are free and constantly on the move....appearing, disappearing, changing.  When we have a larger space to work on we are free to create this grandeur and movement with larger and sweeping marks. When our whole body is involved in painting it often translates into  looser more expressive marks. When I paint large I "feel large'. It is hard to explain but this feeling of freedom can be carried into smaller works once it is experienced.

cloud close-up
Try a Big Sky Painting ...Here are some tips

  • Work on a full sheet of paper. I used 18x24 sheets of Uart for these paintings. (Don't be afraid to use the paper. If you decide you don't like the painting you can cut it up and have readymade underpaintings.)
  • Plan your painting before starting. Decide on the composition and select your pastel palette. This will help you get into the 'zone' and really respond to the painting.
  • Do some kind of underpainting or tone your paper. This will allow you to use less pastel.
  • Use hard pastels for much the painting. Save your super softies for final marks. If you are worried about using up precious pastels you won't relax and enjoy the process! I love using Mount Vision pastels for my largest paintings.
  • Make sure you have a lower horizon if the painting is about the SKY and downplay the stuff on the ground.

'Storms End'        18x24      pastel     $400


BIGSKY sale 20% off selected sky paintings in my Etsy shop. Use coupon code BIGSKY at checkout. Click here to see all sale paintings.

see my cloud demo on etsy for more sky tips

1 comment:

Angela Taylor said...

I can't say that I paint that much anymore, although I may get back to it. I CAN say that is absolutely beautiful. I LOVE clouds! It's just amazing to me how you can sit under them, and watch as they move into different shapes. It's stunning! Wonderful post. :)