Creative Jumpstarts: Loosen Up With Skies


In this jump start I want you to use a simple theme like expressive skies as the means to loosen up or restart your painting habit.  The goal is to paint everyday even if you have no great idea for a subject matter you want to just develop the routine so the painting muse will know where to find you.  Everyday, same time, same place, painting away developing your voice in art, that is how the muse will know where you are.

In the first example, I used a low horizon and kept my colors complementary ultramarine blue and burnt sienna, I put the paint down with a diagonal pattern and lifted out the pattern for the sky with a damp paper towel.  While it was still damp I dropped in the lower portion of the painting creating the expressive water and landmass.

The second warm-up I used Cobalt Blue, Raw Sienna, and Cobalt Violet and I Put down a graded wash with a pure Cobalt Blue at the top and added a little Raw Sienna at the horizon line and then added a more blue feel as I moved towards the bottom of the paper.  I then lifted the clouds out, while the paper was still damp, using a damp paper towel.  I brushed in the water and land when the paper had just about dry.  Making sure that I had shaken most of the water out of my round brush.

The third example I used Cobalt Blue and some Sap Green.  I just cut around the clouds leaving white paper and worked at make the cloud patterns be of unequal size and to have some direction to their shapes.

The fourth example is from a quick sky study I did in Rockland, Maine at last year’s workshop.  It took about 1 hour of total time to do it, which is the goal for most of the jumpstarts, and I just looked out at the sky and tried to capture the changes in the sky over a 1-hour period.  It was a great day and a great exercise. 

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  • PatDecember 14, 2011 - 8:26 pm

    I was looking at your second and third examples to paint a sky over Lake Louise, but mine wasn’t as dramatic. I think it’s that problem I have leaving white paper. Will try again.ReplyCancel

  • TripDecember 29, 2011 - 10:20 am

    nice valuesReplyCancel