2.16.2011

Before The Storm






We have had some real stormy weather lately. Since I love painting atmospheric conditions, I decided to give a try at painting a stormy sky. I painted this on a quarter sheet of hot pressed Arches watercolor paper using raw sienna, burnt umber and Payne's grey. I decided not to put too much detail in the foreground because it could have distracted attention from the main focus of the sky. I always like the effect of a limited palette. I will see what kind of critique it gets in art class Thursday.

Critique:
Jerry Stitt does his critiques based on the elements and principles of design. Overall his critique was favorable. He liked the looseness and drama of the sky and the fact that it had good color harmony. At the end of his critiques always comes the question, "what would make this a better painting?" He is big on having an opposite thrust to create tension in a piece. So because this has a dominant horizontal thrust he suggested a large vertical thrust of perhaps a tree in the foreground or even telephone poles. Having said that the class discussed that in this particular piece it would distract from the central focus of the sky and he agreed. As he often says, the elements and principles of design are just guidelines and not rules and you have to know when you can ignore them.

20 comments:

  1. Jean, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this...beautiful...soulful...gorgeous! One of my favorites...You are becoming quite the master! Wish we were closer...I'm sure I'd learn a thing or two from you my blogger friend!

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  2. Saundra: Thanks so much. It's always great when fellow artists react favorably to one's art. It helps realize one has made good choices in construction.

    Maggie: Always glad to get your feedback. I love your loose style of watercolors.

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  3. Congratulations you painted a wonderful sky - full of atmosphere. x

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  4. This is beautiful! The sky is so full of movement.

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  5. Gillian: I do like painting atmospheric skies. Glad you think it worked out.

    Joyfulartist: Thanks for visiting and for your nice comments.

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  6. You certainly have become a master at skies! What beautiful atmosphere and love the limited palette colours.

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  7. Beautiful drama created here Jean. I wonder what paper you are using. The washes are not heavy looking either, for such a dark sky you have achieved the veils of dark clouds and light bursting through.

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  8. Liz: I do like painting dramatic skies. It's quite a challenge.

    Caroline: This was done on Arches 140lb hot pressed paper. I mostly used hot pressed paper. I like how the colors stay more vibrant than on cold pressed paper.

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  9. Absolutely marvelous dramatic spaciousness! Composition and colors are moody and pleasing. I can almost feel and hear the wind ...

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  10. For us it would be a real old "Free State" storm. Very evocative, I'm there and I feel the buildup of pressure in the atmosphere!

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  11. Your love of atmosphere shows magnificently in this watercolor! I'm dazzled. You've painted a fantastic sky.

    Really well done!

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  12. Jean, I can only imagine that this piece received an excellent critique at your class. I love the limited pallette, the beautiful sky, and your design elements -- the largest expanse is the sky, with minimum detail in the foreground.

    I've been painting on hot press for the first time in my Ted Nuttal workshop. Very interesting painterly effects once you get used to working on it. Good choice for this piece.

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  13. very moody jean ... let us know the critique

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  14. It is a masterpiece!

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  15. Gorgeous painting! And I'm glad you didn't change a thing. The sky IS the thing and you've painted it so beautifully.

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  16. I thought I had already commented on this one,anyway...I have to tell you that it amazed me for you captured the atmosphere so well, we can almost feel the constant move of the clouds. Congratulations!!!

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  17. An amazing sky, Jean! I like you left the landscape so simple, in this way the painting has a wonderful strenght!

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