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Adventure Series 2

Clouds and Form

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Scott discusses the form, color shifts and edge work that define clouds using several reference paintings. He then paints a demonstration showing these concepts.

38min 33sec

Similar to how light and shadow recede, clouds move through color shifts as well.

Remember, as a common generalization, as light recedes, yellow is the first color to drop out. It then becomes darker and redder, and finally moves towards blue. 

Shadows get lighter and bluer as they recede.

In clouds, this same color shift happens but it is more subtle.

When a cloud is nearer you (more overhead), the ground plane begins to reflect into the cloud.

The sky will also go through similar transitional shifts. The zenith is usually the darkest part of the sky and gets lighter and changes temperature towards the horizon and as it recedes.

Think of the yellow-red-blue transitions that you learned in the previous lesson when dealing with your skies and clouds.

Again, this is a generalization and can be deviated from but learn to look closely for these color and temperature transitions.

Learn to look closely for these color and temperature transitions in the clouds and sky. Begin to observe clouds under a variety of lighting conditions (sunny, overcast, sunrise / sunset, etc). Journal your observations.

To understand the concept, find a photograph of face-lit cloud. With your chosen photograph:

  • Start with your 10 line placement.
  • Try to paint gestural studies of transitions in the clouds and skies.

Go outdoors and repeat this process of cloud and sky study several times in your painting journal.

This is simply an introduction to understanding clouds. Remember you can study clouds and skies more by using study approaches and tools similar to that done in the "Trees and Handling" episode. This is where the learning adventure is up to you.

  • Writing Journal (to record observations)
  • Painting Journal
  • Pencil
  • Painting Supplies (Oil or Gouache)
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