Saturday, November 25, 2017

Painting Clouds Over a Sky Gradation

Painting Clouds Over a Sky Gradation
// Gurney Journey

You can paint a cloudy sky in acrylic over an acrylic sky gradation that you prepare first in the studio.

This new video shows how fast the sky changed over the hour and a half that we were painting. (Link to video)

I set up my easel with the full sunlight on the pages. That way the brightness level of the art was close to the light level of the scene itself. I shot the video with a Canon EOS M6, which has a built in time lapse video feature.

Pro Tips
1. Acrylic is good for this because the paint film is durable. Casein might chip off a bit on facing pages.
2. The sky should gradate from a more saturated blue at the top to a paler and warmer blue at the horizon.
3. Don't make the blue sky gradation too dark.
4. Use a small spray bottle or mister to slightly dampen the sky first. That will give you soft edges.
5. Paint from background to foreground.
6. If you make the objects on the ground plane small and far away, the sky will look bigger.

The same idea works fine in oil. This plein air study is 16x20
Supplies and Links
For the sky, I used Tri-Art Liquid Acrylic 
For the clouds, I used Acryla Gouache, which is opaque and handles like gouache
I keep a fine spray mister to dampen the sky gradation on location before painting the clouds.
I'm using a Pentalic watercolor sketchbook
Check out my videos on Sellfy and Gumroad. They're inexpensive, fun to watch, and packed with information.

Previous posts
Using "sky panels" for oil painting
Clouds: Growth and Dispersion


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