I hope the fashion for ‘outlines’ in establishment art would run its course. By now, we are due a change. Digital art, especially relating to game or movie characters, is doing its bit, but the establishment is hard to shift. Someone said (sorry I can’t remember who), the flat surface of the painting belongs to the artist and beyond that, into the depth of the painting, belongs to the subject. My subject is landscape. The landscapes I try to create in my paintings, like the fantastic characters created by the digital artists, hopefully resonate with images we each have stored in the different worlds we each have created in our heads. The image has to be believable. I mention this in relation to creating skies using oil paint. To be believable, it can’t have outlines. It should pass the test of familiarity and allow us to explore the subject of the painting.
The technique I employ in creating skies involves blending all colours to produce the vapourous nature of the sky. It takes a lot practice to produce spectacularly believable skies and a little effort can produce an acceptable sky in a painting. The steps to making it easy are as follows. Look at the video first as it make this easier to understand. Have very little medium in the paint. Leave ‘gaps’ in the initial placing of the paint. These fill and remove any excess paint from the ‘blobs’ you’ve placed. Staining the canvas with colour beforehand, disguises any ‘gaps’ you don’t completely fill. This stain will also tint the colours during the blending and add variety and ‘noise’ to a flat area. ‘Noise’ is a term I’ve borrowed from Photoshop users, when painting pure colours they add a ‘grainy’ texture effect to breakup the flat even colour. The practice is needed to know when to stop blending. Prominent clouds or the light striking clouds are placed on top of the first layers and a little more blending knits it together. Remember the sky is a backdrop in landscape painting and should be treated as such. Finished, as far as possible, to the horizon line without exhaustion before the real painting is tackled.
Enjoy the video. Checkout previous post for materials, etc used