Painting Skies in Acrylic
Acrylic paints are wonderful in many ways, they are versatile, they dry quickly, but they also have some draw backs, it is trickier to paint some things in acrylics than it is in oils or watercolors, skies are one of those things that are more challenging. The quicker drying time makes it harder to make gradual transitions of color or to blend clouds out into the sky.
However, in spite of the challenges, I still like working with acrylics, so my solution has been to practice.
Practicing to get Better
I’ve practiced painting skies every Sunday, trying to improve my ability to paint a believable sky. I usually use photos that I take, but soon I hope to do some in plein air. My first attempt was laughable, my second was better, my third sky wasn’t what I was aiming for, but I really liked the post-impressionist appearance of it anyway. Here was my third sky:
I based it on this photo:
I saw even more improvement the following week, with this painting:
Painting is Becoming more Realistic
Well, I based today’s painting on the same photo as week three, except that I first edited the photo to bring out the colors in the sky more. I didn’t add colors, I just turned up the saturation so the colors would really stand out, I also cropped it so that I was dealing with just the sky, since that is my focus.
Here is the edited photo:
Now here is this week’s sky painting:
It still isn’t an exact match of the photo, but I am coming to realize that doesn’t really matter, I think my favorite sky so far was week three, because it looked a little Van Gogh-ish, and Van Gogh is my favorite painter.