Cloud studies

Cloud studies are a blast to do. I need to do far more of them and from the many formations I see as well as with all the many different angles of light. The study below is an 11x14 pastel but done from a quick thumbnails sketch.

Compositions of Clouds will Vary

The gray and white thumbnail below shows more of a large cloud at the top third of the page, almost a circular shape. But when I copied this onto the larger format, it wasn't working. As a result, I adopted more of an inverted pyramid -- the upper clouds became a wide base with the point falling downward toward the bottom third of the fame.

Looking back at the clouds in many other recent paintings, I find that I have to be willing to move things around. Recently, a painting of Maples at Dusk won a judges choice. There the composition was not of the clouds but of an elle shaped landscape with radiating lines of the land features moving the eyes to the center of interest. The composition meant the horizontal clouds also had to change a bit and become more angular or also moving the eye in a repetitive motion of the radiating lines in the land masses.

What I learned:

  • Be willing to move the clouds to fit the other elements of the landscape, don't be a slave to what is pictured

  • If I move the clouds, I need to be aware of the lighting and keep it consistent with the rest of the picture

  • The more studies I do with different times of days will make me a better artist, especially when I have to manipulate nature to make a better composition.

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