I’m beach artist Ryan Kimba, and today I will be showing you a quick painting lesson.
Before we begin, remember that palette knives were not created for us to paint in a realistic style. With knives we need to surrender total control and paint loose. The clouds in my paintings are impressionistic. They look like clouds but they are by no means life-like. And they don’t need to be.
Let’s start off with a backdrop of blue.
For the top of the sky we will use Pthalo Blue dulled down with a little bit of Titanium White. Work it from side to side like you are buttering toast. This is exactly how it will feel. To put more butter on your bread, you need to use varying amounts of pressure and tilt the knife downwards and upwards. Same thing when you are painting with a knife!
For the bottom half of our sky we will use Pthalo but with a large amount of Ultramarine blue mixed in. This shade of blue will be much warmer than the top. When side by side, see how the bottom blue leans more toward purple? Generally the sky tends to get more purple and hazy as you go to the horizon.
In this step we are simply blending the two colors together. This is a fairly quick process. And now that we have our base, we can begin adding clouds!
This is where we add straight white out of the tube. Now your initial dab with the white will mix in with the blue beneath, so do not fear. Just add in some thicker white paint to sit on top of the stained white. You can make long wispy clouds or you can make puffy cumulus clouds. It’s totally up to you! Have fun with it!
When I am painting clouds, I like to roll the white paint onto the bottom tip of the knife blade, rubbing it onto the canvas in a rolling motion. An amazing characteristic of palette knives is that they are surprisingly flexible. You can bend them any which way you choose and they will spring right back into action.
And here we have a completed cloudy blue sky. For all of you artists that don’t like to paint clouds—do not be afraid! Give this a try. The only way to learn is by practicing and experimenting. You may even find your own exciting way of painting clouds!
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Until next time,
let’s bring some color into the world.