Partly cloudy!


These are very traditional landscapes. Both works focus on the sky as a major element of the composition. A sure fire way to do this is to simply allocate less space for the foreground. Three quarters of the composition is sky. If we choose to divide our paper like this, we better make sure the sky is interesting! We have to deliver, so to speak!

I was trying to use the clouds as part of the design, arranging them in ways to lead the eyes into the painting. Notice how the size of the clouds also plays a role to invoke distance. Both linear and atmospheric perspective at work! A concept I speak about a length during my workshops.

Composition and perspective are often neglected in painting. Many passable painted works lack good design and therefore have little impact. Some of the key questions I always ask myself is: what am I actually painting? How do I arrange all the elements/ shapes? Where and what is my focal point? Is it all working?

Painting the sky is a two step process.  I had to save the whites for the clouds where I planned them, therefore, the first washes can’t go over those areas. The initial warm grey for the clouds are part of the first wash. After all is dry, the second step is glazing in the darks of the clouds. I tried to make them look like they’re hanging over the mountain.
Overall, I am happy with the outcome. Sometimes, the most difficult thing is not to go back in, thinking I can improve this and instead ruin it!

10 thoughts on “Partly cloudy!

  1. christopher robinson

    The great English painter John Constable said, the sky tells the story about the land. He used to do study after study of the sky. Beautiful work Frank! You really captured the softness and airfullness of the clouds!

  2. Vickie Myers

    Hey! Good teaching advice, as always! We have a new gallery in El Segundo. They are having an artist in residence, who will work and show. I think they are pretty snooty, but, since you are European, that may make a difference. I will email you more info. Vickie

    1. frankeber Post author

      that was really my intent, to show the vastness of the valley. It’s not easy to accomplish on a two dimensional surface. Thanks for the nice comment!

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