After studying the cloud formations in the Nat Buchanan paintings by John Pickup I decided to spend a little more time this week on thinking about how artists might create their image of the sky, clouds and light from the sun.

Every landscape painter knows that the sky illuminates the scene. Think of it as a household lamp. The sun represents a warm light bulb, the ozone a blue lampshade surrounding the light bulb and clouds a decorative pattern suspended upon the lampshade.

The position of the sun, degree of atmospheric particulates and density of the clouds all interact to produce the effects we see in the sky. Painting the sky and capturing these luminous effects successfully with pastel can be made easier with a few helpful painting tips gleaned through observation. (Artists Network)

Follow this link to watch an artist at work creating clouds.