View Full Version : Getting back to painting - skyscape

Merethe T
07-10-2009, 07:06 AM
I haven't touched my pastels for months, and my head is ready to explode from ideas - I have to paint,lol! Time hasn't allowed any painting, but I don't think it is healthy - for me or people around me, I get frustrated when I can't paint...:angel:

I decided to bring back a piece I started months ago, I started off fine and enjoyed it - but wasn't happy with the way it turned out. I've played with the image in PS, I realized I don't like the yellows behind the clouds. I'm posting the original as it is right now, and two versions from PS - just roughly playing with alternatives.

Any thoughts? What are your thoughts about the yellows? I've decided to get rid of the yellows in the upper left corner, but not sure if I'll keep some in the center...

Various softies on La Carte.



07-10-2009, 07:29 AM
Merethe, so glad you're getting dusty again! Know what you mean about 'exploding', my Hubby actively encourages me to paint when I'm starting to get grumpy! :-D And it often actually has to do with me not having painted for a while.

Some questions for you: What makes you not like the yellows? Do you know? You initially put them there -- why? What do they represent? Did it actually look like that?

The top picture has drama and movement, and it is clear you have at least two layers of clouds in the sky, the 'cotton puffs', and the thinner flatter high layer of cloud. To me it says "incoming front" bringing rain.

Bottom picture has way less drama. So, what are you aiming for? Calm cool blue clouds? Vigorous dramatic?

It might be that you only need to lessen the chroma of the yellows and yellow-oranges, make them a bit less obvious, so they enhance the blues more subtly. Like this:


Crude, I know... Most important is for you to know in what direction you want to take it.


Merethe T
07-10-2009, 07:41 AM
Lol, that's the exact same thing my poor hub tell me, "would you please sit down and paint"! Probably at the same time housecleaning takes an unpleasant turn; water splashing, rags flying......

Well, I can always count on you to get my thoughts spinning, can't I... ;)
I'll agree, the yellows adds more drama, but the painting look so busy to me - I don't like it...maybe the famous ugly stage too, but still, it just don't speak to me. When I saw the posted images I thought maybe adding more yellows near the bottom row of clouds could add more interest - underneath the main cloud line - and more yellows around the main line may look more natural...don't know, I'll have to chew on it for a bit.

But you brought up a good point, I'll have to play a bit more with it...

07-10-2009, 07:52 AM
Glad you are back at it, but I must say I like this better with more of the yellows in it than out of it. Maybe a bit much in the original, but I think too little in the last version above. :)

Kathryn Wilson
07-10-2009, 08:37 AM
It's so good to see you painting again! It more healthy all the way around - both for you and for hubby.

I like the top version, but leaving out the yellow that is smack dab in the center of the painting. Have you experimented with replacing the yellow with another color? You can do that in Photoshop to see if say a turquoise might be more suitable.

Donna T
07-10-2009, 08:52 AM
It sounds like we all know the feeling of needing some therapeutic pastel time, Merethe. I like what you have started here and wonder if it's not so much that you dislike the yellow but that in order to see that color in the sky it would influence the blues as well. One idea might be to keep the yellow near the center of the painting and gradually add some roses or magentas as the light moves farther away, sort of like what happens at sunset. You could touch the lightest parts of the clouds with some of those warmer colors to show the effect of light bouncing off of them and add color harmony. Just an idea - you know what time of day and what effect you are going for. I can't wait to see where you take this!


07-10-2009, 08:55 AM
Glad to see you getting back to it, I really like the design of the first one, but seems you lost a lot in the third one. For me I see the yellows as to earthy in color against those beautiful blues, maybe brighter yellows/oranges. Have you thought about say a bright red or pinks, maybe mid to light violets. Hope we get to see what you decide.

07-10-2009, 09:00 AM
Hi Merethe,
I know exactly what you mean about feeling a bit off, when I haven't been able to get to the easel for a while. Glad you've been able to get back to it. I really like the first version of the painting with the yellows too. What if you just toned down the color of yellow a bit? Good luck with it, its going to be a beauty!

07-10-2009, 10:34 AM
Hi Merethe,

I like the first version the best. I like the yellows. I also like the idea of adding some other light colors as you go out. It is a fantastic skyscape. I wish I could paint clouds like that!


Merethe T
07-10-2009, 10:40 AM
Seems like the yellows should stay.....I have an idea that might work, I'll change the colors a bit and put some yellows in the clouds as well, maybe that'll unify the painting more. I'm still playing with the image in PS, your thoughts have given me some ideas. Thanks for all your input and comments - very helpful!

Tracy Lang
07-10-2009, 11:30 AM
Hi Merethe,
I can relate to the "no painting for awhile" mood and a hubby who is much better off when I've been dusty :)

I really like the first version as well. Looking forward to seeing the finish!


07-10-2009, 01:44 PM
Hi Mereth - I didn't paint for years and years - now if I don't paint for a day I feel miserable! I'm with the yellow gang, but I tend towards Kathryn's suggestion of leaving the bit in the middle out.

07-10-2009, 01:59 PM
I think all of these are pretty. However, I like the yellow better in than out as well. The other think you might try is adding a bit of yellow to the top edges of the foreground coulds as that yellow would carry over and reflect on them as well. Right now with the yellow in the background but not in the foreground it seperates the two groups of clouds as though there were in different skies. For what it is worth anyway.. another something to think about.

07-11-2009, 11:12 AM
Nice strong use of colour.

Merethe T
08-30-2009, 10:32 AM
Thanks for all your thoughts, they are appreciated and valued! I'm learning here...

Bringing this back up as I finally had time to paint again. Have been busy doing a commission project, illustrations for a poem book. Close to done with 12 paintings, and figured it is time to get back to my own work again.

I decided to go for drama, and strong yellows in the painting. I've been reworking the background colors, and haven't touched the foreground skies yet. I want to get the colors scheme right before I start working the foreground. This is very much an experimental project, as I'm not sure at all where this is going I've decided to just let my control go and have fun with it! It may even end up in the bin, lol! I still have tooth left though, so there's room for adjustment. C&C welcome and wanted, give me your honest thoughts, this is a learning piece for me!


Donna T
08-30-2009, 06:11 PM
I'm glad you have time to work on this again Merethe - I really like it. The bright yellow does add to the drama along with those ominous dark clouds. I'ts good to know you aren't stressing about this and are just seeing where it takes you - usually those kinds of paintings are the best!


08-30-2009, 06:28 PM
Ooooh Merethe, so glad to see you are painting again. I just love your work. I really like those clouds! The only one I'm not too keen about is the second one (in your first post). Your last version is pretty cool, but I still think I'm partial to the first original.

Happy to hear you are finding a bit of time to get dusty. All those ideas in your head should be put on paper.

Kathryn Wilson
09-01-2009, 06:33 PM
Just enjoy painting again - go with it and see where it takes you as Donna just said.