Watercolour skies

I’m a little pre-occupied at the moment with a new commission that I’ve been asked to keep hush-hush, so I don’t have a lot of actual painting to share this week. The commission is a present which, although not needed until September, I want to have it sorted out by the end of June if possible. So far I’ve done one take of it and, although passable, I think I can also do better so am going back to the drawing board. I can already tell that this will be a little difficult one to draw a line under as I’ve yet to paint a view that I don’t think can be improved, so the temptation will always be to keep on painting and repainting right through to September!

I have also been managing to keep pace with the 30×30 Direct Watercolour challenge. At the time of writing this, we’re twelve days in and here’s the latest set of images from this project. First, the full sheet:

30×30 Direct Watercolors

And a few close-ups…

Assuming I finish this, I’ve decided to call it ‘30 skies of June 2018’. At the moment, I’m enjoying it so much that I might start to do more series like this, or at least look at ways to incorporate these little ditties into my week. I’m really enjoying being able to focus on just a little detail of sky without concern for anything else. It’s also amazing just how much colour variation and subtleties you start to see once you start looking more closely.

Each of these takes only a matter of minutes to do. Sometimes I’ve returned to one if it’s needed to dry out a little, but on whole, each one is done in one take. As this sheet is gradually filling up, I think it’s developing into quite a nice series. I’m also really hopeful that these little exercises will inform and contribute to how I tackle skies in my larger works too.

Thoughts on Watercolour skies

10 thoughts on “Watercolour skies”

  1. Pingback: Watercolour: Sundown on the South Downs –

    1. Hi Tim and yes, of course, I hope to post it after it’s been presented. I hope it won’t be too much of a spoiler to say that it’s a painting of a view that I’ve painted before which I’ve been asked to recreate – which is partly what’s vexing me at the moment!

  2. Those are really nice. It’s amazing the endless variety of clouds and sky. I think you are going to have a very pleasing study once the month is over and you remove the tape. Just think of what you could do with sunsets or trees.

    1. Hi Mary and thanks so much for this, so pleased you like them and yes, this approach is opening out a whole range of possibilities and opportunities. I’ll have to review it all once the month is up but I’m finding these new horizons most exciting!

  3. I like the idea of a painting blog with no painting to see. Keep up the good work!
    As for the skies, I don’t think you do yourself any favours by having them juxtaposed like that. A bright green-blue hemmed in by dull warm blues is always going to look over-bright and vice versa. Do you have a piece of card with a window cut out to isolate the one you’re working on or do you just mentally block out the surrounding studies? Anyway, despite my earlier misgivings, I can see they are developing into an interesting project. Keep up the good work!

    1. haha, thanks Rob and you’d best be careful what you wish for re a painting free blog about painting! I’ve got a whole host of ideas up my sleeve for what my blog might focus on while I concentrate my attention on finishing the commission! As for the skies, I’m pleased that you’re coming round to them a little. As these are quite little and immediate sketches, I’m not spending time labouring over how they all sit together and I don’t find the adjacent tiles too distracting. I quite like standing back and letting my eye wander over them. Hopefully the skies will continue to be interesting for the next few weeks!

I'd love to hear any thoughts you have about this

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