As a contemporary NZ artist in Hamilton I an familir with rapidly changing seasons, in fact we often have four seasons in one day which means interesting cloud formations to paint!
Capturing the essence of clouds in landscape artworks is a skill that can elevate a painting to new heights. While there are various techniques to master the art of painting clouds, one crucial element to focus on is getting the shadows right. Understanding the nature of clouds helps artists depict them realistically.
Clouds are composed of water particles, and as they increase in density, they become larger and tend to cluster at the bottom due to their weight. This clustering effect creates darker shades underneath the clouds, mimicking the presence of raindrops. While a more scientific explanation delves deeper, this simplified understanding gives artists a foundation for effectively painting clouds.
Clouds possess unique names that stem from a classification system based on Latin terminology. These names describe the appearance of clouds as observed from the ground. For example, cirrus clouds have a curly or feathery appearance, resembling wispy strands or curls of white hair.
Stratus clouds, on the other hand, form in layers or lines akin to the delicate layers of choux pastry or wisps of hair. Cumulus clouds resemble fluffy, rounded cotton balls, creating a heap-like appearance. Lastly, nimbus clouds, often darker in colour, signify rain clouds.
It's worth noting that cloud formations can serve as evidence of copyright infringement in artworks. Clouds are ever-changing and unique, making them difficult to replicate precisely. Suppose an artist copies another artist's work or uses a photograph as a reference.
In that case, the distinctive cloud formations can indicate the copying, as it is improbable for the same clouds to appear on different days at the same time.
By honing your cloud-painting skills and paying attention to their intricate details, you can elevate the visual impact of your landscape artworks. In addition, the ability to accurately capture the ethereal beauty of clouds will enhance your paintings' overall atmosphere and realism.
The image is of a cloud chart, my Dad had one in his garage which I was always fascinated by.
He was a pilot and such things are obviously important to them but for me it was obviously the art angle I liked. I highly recommend getting one of these charts so you have a handy reference chart for painting clouds.
Link to the site here CLOUD CHART
Posted: Monday 23 August 2010