Thursday, 26 July 2007

Window to the sky

When out in the countryside it struck me that, if I want to paint more Scottish landscapes, I need to get to grips with skies - or more precisely: clouds. With a constant breeze, it is the changing skyscapes that set mood, influence lighting and reflection. In response, I've started to make sketches from my breakfast table out to the sky above the opposite row of tenements:

Neopastel II and graphite in sketchbook

Neopastel, marker pen and graphite on Bristol Board, 8x8 cm

And then I came across this skyscape by the Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershoi in my daily calendar:

It made me laugh - the text on the back emphasised the drama in the sky in contrast to the uneventful landscape - I was really intrigued to what let him paint the cumuli clouds in such a naive manner. I found a retrospective of his a few years back at the Hamburger Kunsthalle, with most of his paintings being intricate interiors. This site here shows some of them, as well as another landscape.

1 comment:

Casey Klahn said...

The calendar scene looks exactly as if it were painted from my home! I see the urge for simplicity in an environment with few details.

I like your experiments. I encourage pencil work (or charcoal) for cloud studies because of the easy and near-infinite range of values they give.

My set of gray Carre Sakura pastels (with warm and cool grades) is a perfect cloud maker. Someone said that Conte makes a set of grays.