Saturday, March 3, 2012

Backlit Clouds

Backlit Clouds, 9x12, oil - $100 - contact Michael

As many of my students will tell you, I enjoy painting backlit subjects.  It seems like I'm always positioning myself so I'm looking into the sun with some nice rimlighting around a mountain.  (It makes for a nice tan.)  Sometimes, we get clouds in Sedona, and I like to paint those backlit, too.

Here's an example.  For this one, clearly it was the clouds that drew my eye.   They were incandescent and fiery around the edges.  I could almost feel the heat.

One thing I observed was the curious progression of warm-and-cool from the clouds nearly overhead to the ones on the horizon.  The ones closer by, and thus most overhead, had warm, shadowed interiors and a nimbus of cool light.  The farther away the clouds got, this reversed, so they had cool, shadowed interiors and a warmer nimbus.  This change in contrast of warm and cool quite striking and contributed to the sense of light and heat.


opie said...

Gorgeous backlit clouds!

And here is a bit of cloud trivia: in the days before radar, loran, &c, sailors on watch could tell if they were approaching land because the clouds over land have warmer bottoms than those over the sea.

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Fascinating, Helen!