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.

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.