Monday, November 10, 2014

Cloud Study/Braids and Pentlands

oil on card 38x21cm

Another quick-ish cloud study. This one is taken from some photos I took in September 2013 when I was sourcing clouds for some other piece. The view is looking South from Blackford Hill, Edinburgh, taking in the Braid Hills and the more distant Pentlands. 

It’s all about the clouds though, and having a look at describing the shine of backlit Altocumulus. I think it works at first glance, but again the surface has somehow become lumpy and possibly overworked. I wish that the sky had the economy of the landscape sections, which I think are Quite Good. Oh well.

These small studies may actually be more useful than I think at the moment. Last week, when trying to buy another Flake White, I discovered that it is now unobtainable in UK, or Europe for that matter. It has been under restrictions for some time – being only available in tins – due to the fact that it’s Lead Carbonate, but it’s now totally banned, except for use in conservation. This means that I will have to adapt to painting with the ‘replacement’ whites produced by the various manufacturers – most often blends of Titanium and Zinc Whites, both of which are very cool whites and bad driers – and these little exercises will be very good for finding a New Way With Whites. Which, in My Humble Opinion, I think is unnecessary.
(A word of warning to other Artyfolk, the Cadmiums colours – strong opaque Reds and Yellows - are under threat as well.)

Today, as you can perhaps tell, I am Quite Grumpy. However - to paraphrase Scarlett O’ Hara - “Tomorrow is another day… and who knows, there may be Kelvin-Helmholzes* or the newly-categorised Altocumulus Asperatus* hangin’ about, which’ll be nice…”

* Two uncommon but spectacular cloud types, as if you didn’t know.