Sun Brushed Clouds



Let’s get to painting on the sky! My color recipes are #1. White + a tiny touch of Lemon Yellow + Pthalo Blue. #2. White + Pthalo Blue. #3. White + Cobalt Blue. #4. MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White. #5. MUD + a little Cadmium Red Light + White. #6. Mix #5 + a bit of Cadmium Orange + more White.


The blue field of the sky is painted first. The Cobalt Blue mix is used mostly at the top edge of the canvas. Since the sun is coming in from the left the upper portion on that side is made with mix #2. Then the lower part of the sky nearest the Live Oak Tree is blocked in with the #1 mixture.

VIDEO! The clouds, brushed by the warmth of the sun, are painted wet-into-wet into the blue.


After finishing the sky I “Paint Forward” by blocking in the most distant hills. Mixes of Ultramarine Blue + a little MUD + White are used. By making this hill bluer it will fall back. This follows a simple rule of giving the appearance of depth in a painting: Cool colors recede. Warm colors come forward. When he first started teaching me to paint, Jack wrote this statement out in large letters and taped it on my easel. You will see as the painting progresses, it really works!


The next bluff, covered with scrub oak, is painted with several mixtures in different combinations of Pthalo Blue + Cadmium Orange + White + a little MUD. This makes cool grey greens that come forward of the blue hill in the distance but will still remain in the background. White is added into the mixes for the rocky hillside. Brushstrokes of Ultramarine Blue + White are made here and there to bring additional coolness to the oaks and ground.


I decided to make another hill, in between the two. This was easy to do. I just painted it in, over the blue, with some of the color from the foreground bluff. By working wet-into-wet, the blue underpainting cooled the color. So the middle hill is warmer than the distant blue one, but cooler than the one in the front. As Jack would say, “That’s your little lesson for the day!” BIG HUGS,

2 Responses to “Sun Brushed Clouds”

  1. Fran Says:

    Mikki, is this canvas already framed?

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