Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dreamscape #1 - pastel - SOLD

It's back to clouds for me for a bit, partially because I'm sick of green.  Tired of painting (or trying) to paint landscapes with lots of green and tired of looking at it.  Not so much when I'm hiking or outside, but just as it pertains to subject matter for paintings - I need a break.  Green has never been one of my favorite colors and that's probably why I struggle with using it in paintings.   I'll probably appreciate it more when it's full-on winter here and everything is covered with snow.

In the meantime, I'm back to one of my favorite obsessions:  clouds!  Being one of those "clouds only" images, it thereby obtains an abstracted quality, which I'm always drawn to.  In this case, though, I went down the path of more realism, similar to the cloudscape "Serenity" I painted a couple of months ago.

Like Serenity, this is more detailed out than my recent paintings.  I really spent time studying the photo and paying close attention to the subtle color and value nuances within the cloud, and my goal was to render them as accurately as possible.

Clouds are amazing things - seemingly solid, but yet they are not.  Seemingly weightless, but yet a small cumulus cloud weighs more than an elephant with its combined water weight (thank you to my Cloudspotters's Guide for that piece of trivia).  Light has interesting effects on clouds, lighting some areas deep within the cloud and yet other areas along the edges show the deepest shadows.

These features make them a challenge to paint convincingly, but a fun challenge for me nonetheless.

As usual, my MV Thunderstorm Gray set is what made this painting possible; for one painting clouds, it's a requisite part of a pastelist's palette.  I have a few Unisons and open stock MV's that I used as well.

Dreamscape #1 - 11x15"
pastel on 140# cold press watercolor paper with Golden pumice ground


  1. I've never been much of a green person either, or so I say as I sit here in my green pants and glasses. Funny, thought I'd always been a blue person! As far as in my photography, I do find I'm not particularly drawn to green in landscapes. Anyway, love the clouds. Sponge paint brush must work well, as these clouds are very "cotton candy" cloudlike. Bella!



  2. Hi Liz,
    I've always been drawn to arid climates (desert, canyon country) that are naturally devoid of lots of vegetation, and are instead dominated by warm earth colors. Bisbee had just enough green around to add interest and balance to the land without smothering it in green.

  3. Beautiful.

    I don't like using green either.

  4. Thanks, Jala!

    Yeah, what is it with green? I am definitely more of a orange-red-purple person. I got so sick and tired of seeing nothing but green while in CT and I'm sure that is part of the reason.

    You know what? Green is a really un-elegant color - very childish. I just thought of that. I think that's another reason I don't like using it.


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