P80 Drawing Cloud Formations

Generally I do not like drawing from photographs. I feel that to a certain extent this is ‘cheating’ in that one of the challenges facing an artist is representing a 3D world on a 2D piece of paper. A photograph has already done this flattening. However, I felt to do this topic any justice it was necessary to photograph the moving clouds when I saw interesting ones and draw from those still photographs. I certainly appreciated Claude Lorrain’s realistic depiction of clouds painted long before the invention of the camera.

I used soft pastels on blue paper, with each study being A5.


This was taken mid afternoon. There were two banks of cumulus clouds. The ones nearest the horizon were more solid with white tops and grey bases. The other set were looser and not as white.


These cirrus clouds were photographed about mid-day. They were very thin and wispy. Cirrus clouds are sometimes called ‘mare’s tail’ clouds.


I photographed these cirrus clouds in the early evening. Most were wispy, but the main cloud was more dense and white compared with the previous sketch.


These clouds were also photographed in early evening. The right hand side shows altocumulus clouds, sometimes called a mackerel sky as the hundreds of tiny white clouds look a bit like the scales on a fish. The second, separate cloud on the left was dark and rain-bearing. The base was undulating with different shades of dark grey.


About notes to the milkman

I'm a printmaker based in the North West of England, living in Bolton and printing at Hot Bed Press in Salford. Please visit my website johnpindararts.weebly.com
This entry was posted in Art, Drawing 1 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to P80 Drawing Cloud Formations

  1. seascapesaus says:

    Terrific! This is the toughest subject apart from the human form I reckon. The only that doesn’t convince me is the cumulo-nimbus in the last one. The blue paper doesn’t help the nuances I guess, but it certainly is midday blue!

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