Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cloud Studies

watercolours 16.5cm wide

Quick sky watercolours from the window. They were done on unstretched paper (200gm Bockingford if you must know) so were a bit wrinkly, and I finally got round to flattening them last week.

Four pigments used here – Ultramarine and Prussian blues, Paynes Grey, and a touch of Sepia – five if you count the Titanium White gouache. So that’s five pigments then.

It’s very fast work. Basically, I’ll have a very, very good look at the cloud forms, noting shapes, tones, and colours, and if possible understanding why they are so. Dampen the paper, whack on a blended wash of the two blues, wipe off the fuzzy altocumulus with some paper towel, take off more of the cumulus with more paper towel and a brush mop then indicate (mop brush) what the cumulus were like when you last saw them, if you can remember that far back (when the clouds were very different from how they are now, the blighters) with Paynes Grey. Make the cumulus shadows a bit more like cumulus shadows, which were a bit warmer, by adding a touch of sepia, and play around with the washes while the rapidly fading memory gets replaced by the now totally new forms in the sky. Guessing wildly, firm up with a bit of opaque white and watch as its brilliance fades to a disappointing light grey as it dries.

Wipe brow with a paper towel without blue on it, and retire for a cup of tea.

Repeat process when yet more clouds appear…