Majestic mountain scenes adorn the walls of art museums around the world. Capturing the wide angle of towering mountain ranges is an impressive artistic feat.
In the vintage Walter T. Foster title How to Paint Mountainscapes, artist Alfred Wands covers some of the basics for painting landscape vistas, specifically clouds.
Clouds have form. In fig. A they appear as floating cubes; soften the edges as in fig. B and our boxes now become clouds. If the sky is full of clouds, put in the blue spaces first, see C, then the shadows on the clouds, and often use a warm tone for the light sides, Yellow, Yellow Ochre, or Flesh color. Soften cloud edges. I like to use a finger tip along with brushes to do this. The blue sky is always darker overhead than at the horizon. In fig. D, which is a more modern style, we have more liberty to create our own sky. Clouds cast shadows over the ground and mountains creating interesting patterns. Then we can have some mountains dar, others light. See fig C. Try a storm picture.
Images courtesy of the Walter Foster Publishing archives
What is your favorite kind of landscape to paint?
The role of the artist is to ask questions, not answer them.
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