Drawing 1, Part 3: Exercise 3

Cloud formations and tone

The exercise required us to capture clouds and their tonal qualities.

I first tried this in pencil, which I found very difficult. Here are some of my attempts in my sketchbook.

Cloud formations in graphite pencil
Stormy skies over the rooftops, view from my balcony. Graphite pencil.

I really struggled trying to capture the shapes of the clouds in pencil, so I moved onto watercolour sketches,

View from my balcony, watercolour and pen
Unsettled skies. Watercolour.
Stormy skies accumulating. watercolour.

I found the watercolour more satisfying to work with. It was more versatile and its translucency suited the gentle shapes of the clouds.

I then moved on to pastel. Oil pastel first.

Billowing clouds, oil pastel

I found these interesting to work with, as you can manipulate the pastel on the paper with your finger, to make it blend. I could have used a solvent for a smoother finish. I find the defined edges very hard and bold. The clouds look too solid and overpowering.

Finally I moved onto chalk pastel.

Billowing beauties, chalk pastel

I found it much easier to establish th shapes and tones of the clouds whilst working in chalk pastel. I love the ability to blend the colours to make smooth gradients between tones and colours.

Rain,, anyone? But the sun peeks through. Chalk pastel.
Abstract skies

The two drawings above, both in chalk pastel, are more expressive, especially the second one. For the first, I used pastel lathered ontp the page, in different shades of blue, and blended with my finger. I added the clouds and blended once again. I then added the yellow, to suggest the sun peeking through.

The second drawing, I just expressed my interpretation of a stormy sky, with greys and whites, blacks and dark blues. I think this one is my favourite of all the cloud drawings, as it felt the most satisfying when I created it.

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