Painting Demonstration 1
I begin with a wash of the far background colors. I will layer the next washes over this so I want this to be pale and a bit subtle. The drama comes later!
The tricky part of this wash is avoiding green mixing as much as possible.
Painting Demonstration 2
Now for some deep, clear blues. I will still be layering over these, but I want hints of the blue sky to show through the storm front.
Painting Demonstration 3
I've let the painting dry a little. Now I can begin layering.
I want the left cloud to be dark and threatening, so I'm using a rich mix of cobalt violet and ultramarine blue. I'll build this up in several washes.
Artist TipsBuild up in distinct layers to add to the atmospheric effect.
Painting Demonstration 4
The right cloud is much softer than the left cloud, forming a lovely frame for the glowing sky. I blue the edges and use the same pigments, much lighter.
Painting Demonstration 5
I bleed in quinacridone rust, beginning with the distant tree line across the lake. I also deepen and dull the storm cloud with quinacridone rust.
Painting Demonstration 6
I've added some dashes of cobalt teal in the mix, a lovely chalky sky blue.
Keep the edges of the clouds either wispy or soft. Mind your edges!
Painting Demonstration 7
Now it's really starting to come together. The left cloud is receding into the distance with the flat darks on the bottom edge. Small wispy clouds stretch to the distant horizon. And just a little drybrush detail at a few edges really rounds the clouds out.
I finished by adding more strong darks to the lake and distant tree line. The lake is rather tricky in this one. Too dark or too light is distracting, but the reflections are actually quite brightly contrasting. But you have to pick an area of focus and I chose the sky and dramatic clouds.
I love summer storms. Their brief tumultuous downpours and the cool crisp air afterwards.
This painting captures the storm and you can see that clear sky beyond the storm clouds, giving hope to a cool night.
I hope this inspires you to paint a sunset tonight!