Sep 11, 2009
Illustration for simple skies and how color is such a determinging factor
By Linda Lover
Have you ever noticed how the sky can set the mood for an entire landscape painting? The choice of color can determine the weather or the time of day. Clouds can suggest a warm sunny day or an impending storm. There are snow clouds in winter and thunder clouds in summer. Sunsets and sunrises let us use colors from brilliant red oranges to subtle pink and mauves. Remember the mariner's saying "red sky in the morning, sailor's warning; red sky at night, sailor's delight".
Even plain blue skies have the ability to create a feeling of warmth or cold, day or night. A heavenly blue sky, in any season brings forth the glow of a pleasant day. A dark cloudless presents an atmosphere of dusk or evening. Speckling snow gives dramatic effect to a plain sky and can be done for daylight or evening landscapes. Pulling rain with the tips of a Black Gold wave or using a liner is another way to add interest to a painting.
Graduating the color of the sky is a blending process similar to that of the rainbow, where there is not a definitive line of color but a consistant blend of colors. This can be done with light and a dark compatible colors, even adding additional colors is an option, especially for the end of a sunset or beginning of a sunrise. This method has the ability to reflect distance or time of day.
Colors chosen for the sky can be present in trees, water, backgrounds or foregrounds to give a landscape consistancy. The colors can also be incorporated in shading and highlights.
This is a very basic example for skies considering that no two are probably ever painted exactly alike.