Sunday, June 12, 2011

Learning to Paint a Landscape (skyscape?)

Original image

Tweak #1 (I ramped up the contrast)

Tweak #2 (Looks like a dust storm)

Tweak# 3 (Tornado skies. I can almost hear the warning sirens when I look at this)

I have never produced a landscape painting to my satisfaction...ever. Why this subject seems so difficult for me is a mystery but I've made it my goal this summer to tackle the beast. My interest in the genre was recently rekindled when I received the latest issue of Watercolor Artist and was pleased to see one of Z. L. Feng's landscapes featured on the cover. I absolutely love his landscape paintings, especially how he handles foliage and his use of color. I have a link to his website on my link list if anyone is interested. I suggest you take the time to check out his work. You won't be sorry.

I also received an email notice for the June challenge on Paint My Photo website. This month the subject is skies. The rules...any medium may be used but the sky must take up 3/4 of the total painting. Landscapes that are mostly sky can be very dramatic and exciting so I threw together a little sketch and gave it a whirl. I did spend time online looking at cloud formations prior to starting which helped but I couldn't find a reference photo I liked so this attempt is from imagination. I worked wet into wet with a leftover mixture of indigo, Quin. violet and Payne's grey, then floated in some white gouache and a little raw umber to create a stormy sky. I'm fairly happy with my cloud work. It's the stuff on the ground where I seem to stumble. Overall though, not bad for a start. I did play in my photo editor with the original image to see what other effects I could produce.

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