Blue skies – plein air study

“Blue Skies” – 9 x 12 oil on board

On Friday I arrived in the afternoon at the gallery and didn’t have time to do a whole small painting. So instead I decided to take my easel outside and do some more studies of clouds – this time in oil instead of watercolor. I think a lot can be learned just observing the forms of nature and the effect of light upon them. Needless to say the clouds did not hold still for this study, so I would simply look for a cloud that had a similar form and coloration as I painted this cluster of thunderheads and scattered puffy clouds. Are these cumulonimbus (any weather experts out there?) They look like cumulus on the top but they were definitely laden with rain and dark gray on the underside in places. There were smaler wispy clouds floating among them.

Actually, the colors are a lot more subtle than this photo shows. The painting is soaking wet so I can’t put it on the scanner. There are delicate blues and grays throughout the puffy areas, but jpeg compression just doesn’t reveal it.


  1. carole
    October 8, 2007

    I love skies like this. Once again, it’s the light that you’ve captured so well – that ‘silver lining’ on the top outside edges.

  2. Monique
    October 9, 2007

    As always Karen, it’s lovely. I’ve been visiting this blog for some time now and I must say how much I appreciate your willingness to show what youve done and the things you have discovered in the proscess of doing so. Keep up the great work :)

  3. Katherine
    October 10, 2007

    Great clouds Karen. This is where us coloured pencil people have an advantage over you oil people wielding brushes. If I scribble fast I can very nearly – but not quite – get the same cloud down from beginning to end. But your technique works well as well! 😉

  4. Annie
    October 10, 2007

    Exquisite, Karen. And that wonderful light.
    Had to try to get on and tell you so.

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