You may recall this painting of an oak tree, below. It is painted over a 'sky panel', a prepared sky gradation recorded from observation on a previous day.
If you take a section of color from each corner of the sky, you can see how the sky is created with four different starting colors. The sky gradated in two directions:
1. From top to bottom, as a result of “horizon glow,”
2. From left to right, “solar glare.” The sun is to the right in the painting, so the colors are lighter on the right swatches.
Both gradations are going on in this landscape by Jean-Ferdinand Monchablon. The sun is also coming from the right in this scene.
Here again, Monchablon gradates his sky both ways. His paint is very thin, probably stippled with the end of a brush.
Monchablon’s skies retire back from the plane of the canvas, allowing the viewer to travel into the painting for miles and miles. This is a great and very difficult achievement. It’s easy to make a sky look like paint. It’s hard to make it look like a radiant veil interposed over infinity.
For more on painting skies, pick up the new Feb/March issue of International Artist magazine, where I begin the first of a ten part Masterclass series on atmospheric effects.
Previously on GJ: Sky panels, Sky Blue
International Artist magazine
J.F. Monchablon on ARC