Randomness – or so it seems

Three Cows
A blustery Spring day, the surface of the pond is shimmering from the breeze. 

In a landscape painting, as in the real world, the element of randomness is expected and considered normal. Creating this look is difficult in a painting if we are trying to achieve an overall design. Deliberately painting randomness is almost impossible. Our instinct is to put order in our creations. Our efforts at producing a realistic cloudy sky, for instance, will have straight lines of clouds, perfect circles and various shapes from fluffy toys to cartoon characters we only notice after we’re finished painting our masterpiece.

As an aid to producing a pattern which has to look natural, for example a cloudy sky, I apply the initial dark paint layers in a vigorous and almost haphazard way. The result is chaotic. These shapes are used to develop the various clouds. Also ‘cross hatching’ blends the colours and adds further accidents of shapes. The ‘cross hatching’ (sweeping brushstrokes at right angles to the previous strokes) also creates a softness which is appropriate for painting skies. This is never easy and requires practice.


Look at the above demo and hopefully you will see what I mean. The time to complete the painting was 1 and a half hours in 1 session. This is compressed to under 10 mins. in the video.

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7 thoughts on “Randomness – or so it seems

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