daily painting titled Clouds over the Ventoux

Clouds over the Ventoux

16cm x 13cm (6¼" x 5"), oil on gessoed card Painting status: SOLD
Daily painting for Wednesday 13 August, 2008
Posted in Landscape paintings
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6 Comments

Breathtaking. Fight between gravity and lightness. Camping out under the stars should be so delightful... And following the song " Lucy in the sky", the artist's signature in the clouds !

Really engaging clouds in this one Julian.
Good work.

Diaphanous. Limpid. Like a spiritual enlightment.

Fabulous. Earth and sky at its best. Julian, a technical question: What colors do you mix to gray down the distant hills without deadening them? I've been painting the Southern Appalachian mountains and I'm struggling to capture the lovely blue they are famous for without making them heavy. Thank you in advance!!

Hi Marsha, I'm not a great technical expert on this kind of thing i just mix colors down/up till it seems right. I guess I stick to much the same colors, I probably used a pthalo green, burnt sienna, ultramarine and Alizaron crimson (not necessary all at once) for the hills and these colors are used throughout the painting, I'm aiming for a range of grays: lovat, purple, green, blue, brown depending how close the hills are, how warm they need to be etc. and in good old fashioned impressionist speak any of these grays are going to appear more or less high in chroma (ie. brightly red or blue.... etc.) depending on what colors you put next to them: complimentaries will make colors seem more saturated/ light colors will make darks seem darker etc. so much depends on the tone and color of the adjacent parts: the sky and the mid ground. You need to find the right balance between chroma (saturation) and light/dark (tone). I tend to mix a lot on the canvas, ie. I'll apply colors into colors or more often mixes into mixes. I tend to keep from mixing colors too thoroughly so that the individual colors are more evident in any one brushstroke, this has it's problems (like when you get it wrong) but generally avoids colors looking dead and generally adds a liveliness to the paint: overmixing kills colors. There are other schools of thought!!

I can't imagine that's going to be very helpful but these things are not very easy to put into words.

Hi, just a thought for Marsha. With all of Julian's good advice, once you determine the color of the distant hills, you can achieve the aerial perspective by degrading the color with it's complement. This will naturally soften the color, pushing it further into the distance. Julian's advice of using colors already in the painting and not overmixing are the best advice. He is a master of aerial perspective.
Good luck.
Dona