View Full Version : Cloudy End of the Day

03-17-2013, 08:04 PM
This was painted from one of my cloud reference photos. I have been watching the sky with great interest lately and I know the only way to get better at painting clouds is to study them and paint them.

This was started with a Pan under painting and spraying it with alcohol and melting the colors into each other. When it dried, a second layer of Pans was applied and more alcohol was sprayed and I tilted the painting in different directions and let the colors run into each other again. I then applied TL and MV pastels and sprayed once more. This time the clouds and sky were finished off with a final layer of dry pastel. The hill was not touched until the sky was finished and it was done with dry pastels.

I hope that all makes sense. I got this idea from Stan Sperlak when I took his online course. Stan's skies are a lot looser, but I like how the pastels blend together when treated with the alcohol. I know it's not for everybody, but I enjoy the process and the look.

This was painted on 8 x 10 Uart 600 grit paper and I used Pans, TL and MV pastels. I always welcome c & c's. Thanks for looking.



John Palmer Fine Art
03-17-2013, 11:12 PM
Great work with the blending Doug, I think you did a really good job especially with the bottom left hand cloud formation.

pastel lover
03-17-2013, 11:42 PM
Very nice. Love your use of color - very strong.


03-18-2013, 04:53 AM
I love a bit of experimentation, looks like it worked for you :clap:

03-18-2013, 11:14 AM
Nice job on this Doug! I did a one day workshop with Stan last summer, he really is a great instructor. My friend did the same online workshop you did, she found it to be very good. She explained that same process with the sky, I have to try it out and see if I like it. I love experimenting - keep playing!

03-18-2013, 01:05 PM
John- Thanks for your comments. The blending was mostly from the alcohol.

Tanja- I love color and it will always play an important part of my paintings.

Pointy- Experimenting is the only way to find out if things work for you and I always love trying new things. It's always a bonus when things work!

Chris- I would love to take a real workshop with Stan. His enthusiasm even comes across online, I can just imagine what he is like in real life. He told us to stay in touch with him and to email him paintings we would like some help with. He didn't have to do that. We are friends on FB now and we are keeping in touch. He even got me to start posting paintings on FB. Most of my friends didn't even know I painted.:lol: Anyway, have a go at it and let me know how you did.


Donna T
03-18-2013, 04:47 PM
That's an interesting technique for doing clouds, Doug; thanks for sharing! Your painting turned out really well. I didn't know there were online courses for pastelists ... sounds like a great way to learn!

03-18-2013, 04:58 PM
Hey Doug: nice blending of cool blues. Try the spectrafix with a brush sometime.....you won't get that strong alcohol up the nose :) .

03-18-2013, 05:47 PM
Donna- The course was put on by F & W, Artist University. There are classes for other mediums as well. I would love to do a live workshop, but I don't think I would be able to sit though one, so this is the closest thing there is to the real thing for me.

It was another way of using pastel and I promised myself that after the workshop, I would experiment some more with the technique. Thanks for looking.

Derek- The sky gradation is made easier when you own the Maggie Price Value set of Terry Ludwigs. :) The tree painting I just did was started with an under painting of pastel and alcohol brushed on top. Wouldn't you still smell the alcohol (which I don't find to be a strong smell) when you are using the Spectrafix? I have Spectafix, so I will give your idea a try and see if there is any difference from just brushing on alcohol. I am always ready to try something new.:evil:


03-18-2013, 05:54 PM
Oh Doug. I wish I had the Ludwigs. I usually drink the spectrafix with a little club soda and lime.
keep up the good work Doug.
Cheers, derek

Mary Brigid
03-18-2013, 06:09 PM
Lovely colour harmony in your painting Doug. And your clouds are very nice. And thank you for writing about your progression. I love hearing how artists work
Mary Brigid

03-18-2013, 07:49 PM
Derek- :lol: :lol: :lol: :eek:

Mary Brigid- Thanks for your kind words. I always want to know what other artists are doing as well, so if I do something out of the norm, I like to share the info. It might not be a great painting, but by sharing the technique, it might just help somebody who is in a rut. I know it has helped me in the past. Good seeing you back here at WC!


03-18-2013, 09:42 PM
Very nice. I like the vertical painting format when the clouds are the focus. I have a habit when doing a landscape with clouds to have a parade of similiar shapes across the sky and really need to watch that. With your painting the clouds look different and each important. Pam