Sunday, October 30, 2011


Determined to keep up the momentum from the Painting the Region plein air 
event, I've been out painting several times in the last few weeks.

This past week, Bruce Ann Ferguson and I met at Mayport Little Jetties. When I arrived, she was well into a large sky painting and since the sky was truly lovely that morning, I jumped into one as well.

Here's a reference photo I took to show the drama of the values.
Morning at Mayport, oil on panel, 8x10"©2011 Jaime Howard

Here's the painting done on sight that
day (not from the photo). 
Now that they're side by side, I can see that though the values may be similar, which after all is what makes the image so dramatic, I could use some "sky time" in the practice of painting those subtle variations in the sky that seem to turn into
not-so-subtle color changes in my
Sky Study, Jax Beach, oil on panel, 6x8" ©2011 Jaime Howard

  This morning, in search of subtleties,
I parked at the beach and painted the sky over Jacksonville Beach. I hoped to convey the feeling of distance.

The blue of the sky itself becomes more intense as it gets farther "up" or 
farther away from the horizon.  The clouds that are farthest away are those nearest to the horizon. They are smaller and closer together than the ones painted higher up, which are closer to the viewer and are painted larger and with more intense values. This is what gives the impression of distance in the painting.

The feeling that a two-dimensional surface (the painting) is three-dimensional
(the sky!) is just a trick of the artist. Sleight of hand, I tell my drawing students.
Learn a few of these kinds of tricks and you are a magician! 

I'll let you be the judge good a magician I am. Can you see into the distance?

1 comment:

  1. I love both the sky paintings, but I especially like the colourful one, even though it looks very different from the reality. Who cares - that's what interpretation is all about, and the richness of those skinny strips of green zinging against all that purply-blue sky is wonderful.