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Old 06-15-2009, 12:24 AM
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Genlisae Genlisae is offline
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#1 - Sea and clouds CC please!

Cross posted to Acrylics.

It has been months since I have painted. Unfortunately in that time all inspiration faded and I managed to work what was a niggling hesitation of painting clouds and water into a full blown phobia.

In the spirit of just go and do it, I have set for myself a 120 painting challenge and thought I would start with the things I feared most.



4.5 x 5 (approximately) acrylic on watercolour paper. Painted from a memory of a typical calm say at Bear Point ( A small rocky outcropping off Vancouver Island) The clouds were modeled off the clouds that were currently outside the window. Obviously, I am not happy with it.

Leaving aside the blatant mistakes such as the smudge of the rock colour I didn't see until it was scanned and acknowledging that I simply need to spend more time cloud watching before I will be seeing all the nuances to render them the way I want to. I am not pleased at all with the water.

I know what I wanted it to look like, I can see what I wanted it to look like, and I am fairly certain that if I were to do this in fractal form (my medium of choice for the last 3 years) I would have managed the effect I was going for. I was looking for the calm, but slightly "fuzzy" effect I have observed many times here on days with only a slight breeze.

I have studied several tutorials and discussion on the painting of water, yet somehow when it comes to the actual doing I can't seem to "see" where the strokes should go.

Any suggestions for what I might try next time to better "see" greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-15-2009, 04:45 AM
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Genlisae Genlisae is offline
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Re: #1 - Sea and clouds CC please!

Err that first line up there would make more sense if I had said cross posted to Marine
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Old 06-15-2009, 04:53 AM
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arpett arpett is offline
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Re: #1 - Sea and clouds CC please!

Hi there. I don't think this is as "bad" as you are saying. I too struggle with what i see, and then translate that into a painting.
Have you been to the Informatiosn Kiosk and the classroom - there are many very good mtm-classes there. Skies and clouds you can follow this link.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=541156
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Old 06-15-2009, 07:51 AM
sashntash sashntash is offline
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Re: #1 - Sea and clouds CC please!

I think you are being too hard on yourself, but I understand -- I feel the same way about my paintings.

The answer is simple - keep painting.

I have been painting for a little over a year and share your frustration with not knowing what strokes to use to paint what I see in front of me and what I see in my mind.

But I do know that my clouds have improved over the last year as a result of trying and trying and trying again. I look at all the paintings here on WC in acrylics, the landscape forum, the marine forum and the plein air forum. I read the critiques for each one. I pour over instructional art books and watch videos on YouTube. With each reading and each viewing, I pick up one little helpful hint.

One thing that has helped me is to experiment with different brush shapes and sizes - flats, brights, filberts and rounds. Synthetic and bristle. Using mediums/gels with the paint and not using them. Every experiment with different combinations of brush shapes, brush types, paints and mediums teaches me something.

Unlike all the advice I have read, I have found that a medium sized round brush works better for me in attempting clouds... and using medium helps too because I can blend more easily.

Onward and upward we go.

Do your 120 paint challenge --- that's the best thing you can do. And keep posting your attempts for some helpful advice from more experienced painters than I am......

You've done a nice job on the foreground rock and you have the basic idea of the clouds right - with the darker gray on the underside and the highlights on the top...

One thing to keep in mind is that the sizes of clouds get smaller as you go down towards the horizon and the clouds get closer to each other as you reach the horizon (because they are farther away so we see them as smaller and closer together). The farther clouds will also be more muted in color than the nearer/higher ones...

The best videos that I have found on YouTube are by Jim Ingraham. Here's the link.

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=...dd&view=videos

If you watch Beached Whaler #s 2a, 2b, 3 and 4 you'll see how he paints clouds.

He uses oil paints, so it doesn't translate exactly for those of us using acrylics, but I have still learned a lot from all of his videos.

Hope that helps.
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Last edited by sashntash : 06-15-2009 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 06-15-2009, 10:02 AM
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LavenderFrost LavenderFrost is offline
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Re: #1 - Sea and clouds CC please!

The important thing is that you are painting. And this is very nice with interesting shapes in the clouds and rocks.
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Old 06-15-2009, 02:35 PM
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skyeagle skyeagle is offline
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Re: #1 - Sea and clouds CC please!

Clouds have soft edges. A way I've found that works for me is to edge them with my fingers...finger paint with the paint already put on with a brush.
In your water I see small vertical lines. The only place for verticles in water is in reflections. Smooth, blend those out with horizontal brush strokes. Painting is a series of corrections. That should be in quotes, but I don't recall who I'm quoting! lol
Just doing it, as you are, and watching others as well as accepting critiques are the tools for growth. You are on the right track. Just don't let yourself get bogged down by the works of those who have been at it for much longer than yourself. One day you'll be the one others look to for help and examples!
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Old 06-15-2009, 06:55 PM
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Faded Faded is offline
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Re: #1 - Sea and clouds CC please!

I think everyone has that feeling from time to time. Just keep at it, it's the only way to improve Skyeagle is right about the clouds, always remember, no sharp edges
-David
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