Painting clouds

A painting study of clouds over fields

My efforts to paint cloud formations have met with very mixed results over the years.  They often end up too heavy or, worse still, muddy.

With this study I set out to paint something more like real cloud formations. I painted the whole sky over with a thin layer of mid-tone grey mixed with white, black and a little ultramarine.  I let it dry for a few weeks and then scumbled the lighter parts of the cloud formations with a mix of white, red and cad yellow diluted with lots of medium.

Overall this approach is MUCH easier than trying to paint the clouds alla prima and I like the way they turned out.

I based the study on a plein air painting that I had done at Montcalm Farm, Purcellville earlier this year.

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