Firstly, I would like to thank all who gave me a ‘like’ in the recent art competition. It resulted in me getting 2nd place in the competition. It was a bit of fun and only means I have a lot of nice friends on Facebook. I don’t think competition is good in artwork. Its great in sport, not in art.
Landscape paintings, for me at least, can be photographic or fantasy. I don’t mean a real location as opposed to an imagined scene, but rather how we depict the world we are creating in a painting. At the moment there are many teachers, especially on YouTube, promoting a painting style for beginners which aims to replicate photographs. This often involves ‘dabbing’ with a large brush to represent anything from clouds to trees. At the moment, trees are in full foliage and in photographs if viewed objectively, look like very large sprigs of broccoli. Broccoli is solid and trees are mostly empty space, but the look alike. Before photography conditioned the way we see, artists painted trees the way we knew they were. To do this, trees were painted as if they were sliced in half, letting us see most of the trunk and branches with the leaves attached. Sometimes this stylisation went too far but in the absence of photographic references it was accepted at the time.
I try and go somewhere between the 2 extremes. A recognisable tree with the nature of its structure visible. Photographs of trees are great for reference but if copied from a photograph by ‘dabbing’, they look like solid objects. The resultant landscapes tend to be ‘heavy’ and monotonous.
The same applies to the painting of clouds in a landscape. The ‘dabbing’ method produces clouds looking like enormous solid structures floating in the blue sky. To illustrate how I paint skies, I’ve revisited some recent paintings with cloudy skies and uploaded the videos in real-time to give you a better understanding of how I paint clouds looking the way they are, not how they appear in photographs. I will post an explanation of the process here in the coming days but in the meantime, if you want to go directly to my YouTube channel, look for ‘Realistic Sky’ among the videos there.
Here is the video of the above painting. This painting uses only 3 colours (Windsor Lemon, Burnt Sienna, Cobalt Blue) plus black and white. There is no medium used, only White Spirits.