This cloud painting I started is blues backlit by powerful warm yellow and gold sunlight. As I block in, I keep creating green, not surprisingly, when I try to mix a transitional value from the blue to the warm yellow. There is no green in this painting at all. How can I create warm and cool transitions from the blues to the yellows while avoiding any hint of green? Thanks for your help.


  • Freeman

    Hmmm. Try painting your yellow over a dry blue. Use white to soften the edges.

  • edited February 2020
    I get good results using yellow ochre, ultramarine blue deep and Chinese vermillion to warm things up, cadmium yellow pale for brightness and clarity.
  • there is a nice video of Alex Tzavaras on opaque and transparent colors.
  • That's bizarre,  I was mowing the yard on Monday and watching the sunlit afternoon thunderstorm clouds build dramatically as I raced to finish before the dark...and the wet, wondering about that same question.  Wonderful brightly-lit fluffy ones of pale cream-white and very-blue grays wondering the same; warm yellows and cool blues ...but no greens.  

    Living in the country, I get great cloudscapes due to the clear sightlines and the very low horizon-lines over the fields.  You notice the clouds as an important part of the visual landscape.

    For oils the best I've come up with is to follow Mark's method of dealing with blacks and shadows, you can't blend them.  I just have to be courageous and place clean paint once.   Since sunlit cloubs are strongly luminous,  the color checker doesn't work ...but I have to "think color-checker ".  Theres a lot of value differences in both the warms and cools of a great cloud-form.  They're not pure white, but actually much "darker" in a very low-chroma manner.  The subtle yellows and pinks--reds--purples contrasting with the blue-grays of the shadows and cloud bases.  And being luminous, they also reflect a lot, reflected shadow in both warm and cool light.

    For a really great cloud, I photograph it.   They change so quickly.
  • Try to use a touch of red in the transitions, something like crimson or pyrrole rubine, red is the complementary of green and it should prevent you from seeing green as it blocks all the blue and yellow reflected off the surface to your eye

  • BOB73BOB73 -
    edited September 2019
    Disclaimer: haven't actually tried this yet but I've given this a lot of thought because I get so excited when I see those kind of skies and was never able to achieve what I wanted with acrylics (decades ago btw). but I thought I'd be able to with oils. My experimentation with keeping cloud colors out of the sky color has not been good and so I purchased some T-white and Prussian blue quick-dry alkyd paint W&N brand and thought I would use that as a canvas stain instead of Carder Brown. This is I think a shortcut to prevent messing up sky holes in trees and make cloud edges behave. Still haven't had a chaannccee to try it. I hope this will be useful to someone.

  • Depending on manufacturer,  yellow ochre desaturates with blue rather than going green.  Useful for skies where clouds are both warm gray and cool gray.  I've added paynes gray to my palette as a cool dark to balance burnt umber's warm dark.  It makes a different green when mixed with yellow than with ultramarine or black.  Probably due to the phthalo blue component in the hue-mix.  I also added a cerilean/cyan since the sky color where I live is quite cool green-blue close to the horizon, not the warm blue of ultramarine
Sign In or Register to comment.