Those of you who have seen my full length tutorials know that I often start with a midtone when I'm painting clouds. It can either become the shadow part or the bottom layer for the highlights. Then I slowly build up the highlights until I get them just right. With 'Tidal Pool' I took a different approach.
|Tidal Pool, oil on panel, 35.4 x 47.2"|
I started by painting the blue of the sky covering the entire surface. Waited a day til it was dry. Painted the midtone, a soft purple-like grey. Waited another day. So far so good.Normally I would've painted a rather thin layer of Titanium White and a hint of Vermillion Red on top of this layer and repeated that in the next few days, up to the right shade of white.
This time I thought I'd try something else. The color mix was the same: Titanium White and a hint of Vermillion Red. The difference: no medium, just pure paint. With a number 30 spalter I bristled the dry paint on top of the bottom layer.The combination of the rough brush and the dry paint worked very well to create a cloud like surface.
I shot the below picture close to the painted surface. Especially on the edges of the highlights it clearly shows the hair-like structure that you get when using this dry brush technique. I left a small zone of the underpainting purple uncovered, to prevent the hard edges that will immediately turn your cloud into an isolated lump. Now it nicely dissolves into the blue sky.