Friday, June 10, 2016

Red Cloud

Last week I finished this large piece. It started with the picture on the bottom. I really liked this big, long cloud and how it moved from the left- to the right side in one go. Problem was the cloud had no point where it moved to. So I decided to flip the image and paint a sunset as the center of attention. Easier said than done...

Red Cloud, oils on panel, 85 x 150 cm
Red Cloud, oils on paper, 22 x 40 cm
 I figured I was going to run into some serious problems, so I decided to make an oil sketch on paper before starting to work on the real thing. Some of the issues I had to resolve:
- If I flipped the image, the sunset would light up the other side of the cloud, so I had to figure out how and where the light would fall.
- Had to paint a sunset that would fit in with the rest of the clouds and paint a matching reflection.
- Didn't like the diagonal line of the land wash in the picture, wanted something more interesting.
- Same for the ocean.

After painting the sketch I felt confident enough to begin the large painting. As you can see there are still quite a few differences between the sketch and the final piece. Which goes to show that you can't solve everything in a sketch. Still, I enjoy making them and they sure help in preparing for the final painting.


  1. I am embarking on a similar composition of a beach scene in Puerto Rico. Never considered changing the diagonal line but your comments cause me to pause a bit before proceeding. I will continue to read your blog as I love learning more about painting and have always been fascinated by the sky.

    1. Good to hear my blog has been useful! If you have any questions, please mail me at

  2. Can your videos be played with Windows Media Player? I am interested in getting them but would like to know if I can use the player I already have.

    1. The Windows Media player can play almost any video format. If you should run into problems you can always download the UMplayer:

      Hope this helps!