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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)


Unknown 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!!