Friday, June 5, 2009

Storm Clouds

I love making pictures of clouds. I often look up at the sky to observe weather and cloud formations. When it comes to drawing skies, I am faced with a dilemma. I either take a photo and use that as a reference, or I draw it from memory. Clouds by their nature are constantly changing, so the artist doesn't have enough time to make an "accurate" observation portrait before the clouds have moved on. The renowned illustrator James Gurney recently posted in his art blog "Gurney Journey" about drawing from memory. I always thought that it was kind of cheating, that (representational) art should be at best a kind of photography done with drawing materials rather than film or pixels. But of course it's not that way at all and all artists make stuff up that is "realistic." 

I daydream and fantasize about clouds, that I am some sort of superhero or astral traveller who can fly among the clouds unharmed and untouched by wind or temperature extremes or storms. My pseudonym for making electronic music is "Altocumulus," a type of cloud. 

This sketch was done purely from memory, from a day which later featured a violent thunderstorm. I am trying out yet another mass purchase of colored pencils, striving to get as accurate color rendition as possible. I hope to do more "real" on-site landscape and sky drawings this summer. This one is about 7 inches by 5 inches, in my book'o'color sketches.

1 comment:

Tristan Alexander said...

I should have known, you always have your head in the clouds.

I love clouds also but I am never happy with them if I don't use a photo for reference. I don't copy them exactly of course but without them I miss the right "feel".