Updated: Jul 23, 2022
I was very intrigued by an image I had of this weather pattern and took my time thinking about the possibilities before beginning this oil. My first concern was how far I wanted to take the color.
Typically, weather like this creates a grey cocoon with very little direct light and that didn’t hold a lot of appeal to me. Then there was the compositional arrangement of that long, slender cloud running across 5 feet of canvas.
Photo references are good to a point, but the information contained there wouldn’t be enough for an appealing painting.
I had to jump in somewhere and it began with the cloud shape with the veils of rain on the right. To support that shape going left, more cloud forms and the brighter yellows and pinks were added. My photo reference was of the taller cloud, extending off the top of the image and the land mass below went all the way of to the horizon line. The only light source would be between the two and I felt it would severely limit the more colorful possibilities I had in mind.
So while blocking in this oil, I had the idea to cut back the amount of land in the foreground, adding enough water to create a bay…that’s everything fell into place. The reflective surface of the water provided more color opportunities and considerably more light.
The additional water set up an extreme amount of depth and a playground for more atmospheric effects – an unexpected bonus!