Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Two Cloud Sketches

watercolour/gouache 14x10cm approx

March has been spent concentrating on a bigger Wreck painting (see ‘Works in Progress’ to the right) but I’ve still found time for some cloud work.

I love doing these little sky sketches – especially now that the days are longer. It’s not so much about recording particular formations - photographs are more accurate, and sit still long enough to use as reference material - it’s more about becoming familiar with how light and clouds interact.

The top one was done in six/seven minutes and has turned out very ethereal. The lower is much more worked – I added to it from memory later on that evening. It’s not bad, but it maybe lacks the life of the first.

Looking at clouds gives me immense pleasure, but that only goes so far. Drawing demands a different kind of examination, and, like the rapid figure sketches, you have to take in, simplify, and reassemble a lot of information in a short time.

I suppose I imagine that if I draw them often enough I will become so familiar with their forms as they absorb and reflect light, ebb and flow, mutate as they rise and fall, condense and evaporate, darken and glow with changing densities, let alone as they scoot and shuffle across the sky, that I won’t need to rely quite so much on still reference photos.

That’ll be the day…