Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I'll Let You in on a Secret

As an artist I have a secret.  It haunts me with every landscape painting I do.  I don't know how to paint clouds.  I mean, yeah, I try... but they never come out realistic enough for me.  I do acceptably with small wispy white clouds in a blue sky, but big puffy clouds, or storm clouds I'm just never happy with.  I've gotten lucky on  a few paintings and had reasonably satisfying results, but usually its a wrestling match to get there.

For example, my recent work in progress.  I first painted the whole canvas blue, because it is going to have water and sky.  I wasn't really concerned with coating the entire canvas evenly, because I had in my minds eye some spectacular clouds that would cover most of the sky portion.So here is what it looked like after that first coat of paint:

Well, I proceeded to try to produce my vision of these clouds, and I came very close.

This was almost exactly what I wanted, I was thoroughly pleased with the lower left section of sky, but moving away from that area, I felt it looked worse and worse, until finally up in the right hand corner I felt I was looking at blue camo rather than clouds. I posted it to my facebook page, and to several art groups asking for advice, and was assured by everyone the clouds looked fine, but I couldn't shake the impression of looking at blue camo.

Maybe I should have listened to everyone, but NO, not Mrs. Perfectionist Vicki!

I tried to fix it, but only made it worse, and finally, in frustration, I did this:

So, I spent most yesterday evening painting, and the net result so far is a blue canvas.  NICE!

Some day, I'm going to figure this cloud thing out.  I think I should start practicing on paper for a bit, until I get it, so I don't have to paint over a canvas.

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  1. Looks like both of us posted on Secrets... Keep painting... your clouds will become better as you practice... talent is what we get when we practice over and over again.

    1. Yes, I have paper painted blue that I plan to practice on today before touching my canvas again, I also am looking at LOTS of photos of clouds to help me see what I am aiming for, even though I have no intention of directly copying the photos. Clouds 365 blog is a great source for that!

  2. I agree with your Facebook buddies - the original looked great - much better than I could have done!

    We beat ourselves up trying to get perfection. With art, it is how you see it. And each viewer will see it differently, so even if you do see perfection, it may not be perceived that way!

    Keep it up and remember to have fun!

    1. Thank you, I guess it didn't look terrible, it just wasn't matching up with what was in my mind for this painting!

  3. Maybe it's because there are only blue skies in your imagination...
    It could be worse...

  4. I like both your version with clouds and with blue sky. Looking forward to reading future posts. I don't paint but find the creative process fascinating!

    1. Thank you. If I ever figure out how to get it the way I want, I'll put up a how-to post! LOL


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