It's been a while since my last tutorial (3 years to be exact), so I'm very pleased to announce I finally finished the third one. The subject this time is painting storm clouds. As usual the video follows the painting process, from it's planning stages to the finished work. I'm adding the dry brush to the list of painting techniques. It's a very helpful tool for painting life like clouds.
Just like before the camera work was done by Theo van Egeraat and again it's simply great. This is the third video we did together and our corporation felt very familiar. I was not at all bothered by the camera while painting.
The music for video has been specially composed by Udo Pannekeet, bass player, composer and conservatory teacher. His amazing soundscapes add a wonderful feeling to the video.
My friend and fellow painter David L. Smith (great seascapes!) generously offered to edit the English voice over and since I'm not a native speaker his contribution was crucial for keeping the voice over understandable.
A White Christmas is very rare in Holland. I don't even remember the last time, but the web doesn't forget, so I looked it up: the last time we had one was in 2010 and the one before that was way back in the twentieth century. We do have snow though, at least a few times every winter. Very inspiring for a landscape painter.
There's a common misunderstanding about snow. I hate to break the news to you, but it's not white. It has a lot of different colors, ranging from yellowish to light shades of purple, depending on the circumstances, but not white.
Snowy Polder, oil on panel, 7.1 x 11.8"
For example: in a snow landscape it gets very clear that shadows have a distinct color. Not just some darker muddy shade, but an actual color. In the above landscape the shadows have a soft purple haze, that contrasts with the warmer sunlit parts. Painting a snow landscape is an excellent opportunity to practice your colored greys. If you want to find out more about mixing colored greys, you could watch the YouTube clip I did on the subject.
Snow landscapes often hinge on the contrast between warm and cold colors. A few warm accents in a predominantly cold painting often make a big difference. In the Snowy Dune painting the bottom part of the sky and the dune grass (detail below) do the trick. If you want to be sure of the warm-cold contrast you could try painting your snow landscape on a mars red ground. You'll be surprised!
Every now and then I get the chance to show my work in Belgium, one of our neighbor countries. Great people. They like (and sometimes buy) my work and that makes me very happy. But lately I'm getting the impression they got a thing with frames. More and more Belgian buyers like to purchase their paintings unframed. Gallery owners can't stress enough they have no objections if you drop off your work unframed.
I'm not sure what the reason is, but I hope it doesn't spread. The purpose of a frame is not only aesthetic, it's for protection as well. The surface of my paintings consists of very thin layers of paint that easily damage, a bit like enamel, so I want them to be properly framed.
And to be honest, I like my paintings better when they're framed. Frames are a visual buffer between the painting and it's surroundings. The picture below shows the standard frame I use for my work, a so called 'floater'. It's a simple frame that underscores the landscape format of the painting and says: "This might be a realistic painting, but it's still a work of a contemporary artist."
And here's the same painting in it's actual frame. The Edgartown Art Gallery (where it's currently on display) asked me to ship it unframed, so they could choose a frame that matches the atmosphere of the gallery as a whole. An old English kinda feel. I went for the experiment, curious as I was how my work would look in a totally different frame and I was pleasantly surprised. It looks great with the wonderful warm-cold color contrast between the frame and the painting.
If you want to take a closer look at it, please go to my website www.paintingskies.com. It's the first painting that comes up in the Portfolio section (at least for now). When you hit the 'detail' button below the picture, guess what happens...