It’s so pretty here when everything is green! Spring is in full bloom and in our house that does mean lots of sneezing and antihistamines, but we can’t help but love the warm weather, despite the pollen. Often we will start the day with sunshine, birdsong waking us at 5am, and then a little after noon, clouds roll in and a little rain. Sometimes a full on thunderstorm, although it’s a little early in the season for that.
I love all hours of the day for the way the light affects the landscape, and recently I experimented with painting a late afternoon summer cloudburst. You have to be a little daring to paint a dramatic sky – it’s intimidating to throw down those dark colours while trying to keep them from taking over the page!
I am not a realism painter, and I’m not sure I would want to paint photographically even if I could. There is so much joy in creating from the heart and I really strive to have my brush guided by an inner sense of “what next”. I’m not good at describing it, but mainly I start with an idea of the scene I want to paint, and usually a reference photo. I look for the drama – what drew me to paint this scene? What is the main idea I want to depict? And then I launch into a painting that at some point will start telling me what it needs, and the reference photo is set aside as I look for ways to build on the beauty that is happening on paper. It’s scary and exciting to paint this way, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
I made a video of this painting as I created it as a demonstration on how to paint dramatic skies for my Youtube channel. Check it out below!