|'All is Quiet' 8x10 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
|the reference photo with an overexposed sky|
When the sky appears white in a photo it is overexposed. Another word used is blown out or washed out. This happens when the camera has trouble recording detail in all areas of the scene. When a photo is overexposed the highlights or bright parts of the scene are washed out and appear white. It happens a lot with skies. This doesn't mean the sky was actually white. The camera just wasn't able to expose all areas of the scene properly.
So what do we do when we have a reference photo with a white sky? I celebrate! A white sky gives me freedom to experiment and try some unexpected sky colors. If I remember what color the sky was and want to be true to the scene that is my starting point. Then it is time to play. For a better result I have a suggestion. Before starting the painting, make some quick Color Samplers.
|Very quick Color Samplers|
It was easy to see how the sky color worked in each sample and in the end I decided to use the green sky at the bottom. I felt it would be an interesting choice to represent a mysterious overcast day.
The best thing about the color samplers is that I have four more choices for my white sky. I love the possibilities a white sky gives me!
|A wet underpainting with Derwent Inktense Sticks and water|