How to Mix Whites for Clouds

How to Mix Whites for Clouds

Fall Storm Bands

“Fall Storm Bands”, 4 x 6″, oils, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

 

I’ve been answering a question a day on social media this week and the question that I picked today was “How to mix whites for clouds?”

It’s such a great question and one that all of us think we know the answer to right away cause clouds are white, right!?!

Not so fast there! Clouds are actually almost never pure white. They’re almost always catching a little light or in a slight shadow. So you have to mix several light ALMOST whites to capture more of what we actually see instead of what we think we see.

In the video below, I walk you through some of my favorite tube whites, and then show you how to mix those warm and cool whites.

31 Clouds: Edisto Skyscape

31 Clouds: Edisto Skyscape

“Edisto Skyscape”, oil, 7x5”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

31 Clouds Day 22
Sneak Peek #5

The view standing on the edge of the beach is almost overwhelmingly HUGE! And on a beautiful late summer evening there was blue sky on one end and remnants of roiling storm clouds on the other.

Little bits of blue sky in between the clouds with the late afternoon sun lighting up the clouds like that pink cotton candy at the state fair.

I think I may be trying to hold all those variations of blue on my palette.

Have you ever noticed that there are dozens of different blues overhead at any given moment?

So often we glance, and our mind registers “blue” and hurries on to the next task.

But if you stop long enough and really look deeply, you’ll see that it’s not just one mass of solid blue, but varies from cobalt and periwinkle to ultramarine, cyan and cerulean to turquoise. Just the names of the blues make me want to pull out my paints.

Here’s what was on my palette yesterday.

a palette full of blues

I’m so glad to have you along for my month of cloud watching and cloud painting.

I can’t believe that tomorrow is September 1!

Happy Looking!

PS – Your special VIP preview of the new collection is September 10th! Can’t wait to share all 31 Clouds!!

31 Clouds: Clearing after Storms

31 Clouds: Clearing after Storms

“Clearing after Storms”, oil, 5 x 7”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

“Clearing after Storms”, oil, 5 x 7”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

31 Clouds Day 14

You know what I love doing daily observational painting?

Observation is a visual form of listening. And just like with listening closely, deep seeing creates stronger memories of what you’re looking at.

Watching the sky over the ocean is one of my favorite places to practice observation.

Look at all the blues there are in the sky!

If you want to see the world in memorable ways you have to give your perception time to work.

You have to take a bit of time. And boy, is that hard to do!

When you do, when you pay attention to a subject over time, you build a connection, a really deep one.

The more you exercise your perception “muscles”, the more you’ll actually see, and the way you experience the world will change and deepen.

You’ll build stronger memories and deeper connections.

That’s an important thing for our culture.

What do you want to create a stronger connection with?

31 Clouds: Morning Cloud Bank

31 Clouds: Morning Cloud Bank

“Morning Cloud Bank", oil, 6 x 4", © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

31 Clouds, Day 9,  “Morning Cloud Bank”, oil, 7 x 5″, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

Observation is a visual form of listening.

And not just for painters. For everyone.

What I mean by observation is the idea of standing in front of a subject and looking closely, really paying attention. Not just glancing, but seeing deeply.

When you see deeply you become present in the moment, letting distractions slip away.

Our minds are designed to quickly make sense of the world around us, not really to record our observations. So you have to trick your mind a bit in order to shut down the monkey mind that tries to quickly categorize what you’re looking at.

You have to take a bit of time.

If you want to see the world in memorable ways you have to give your perception time to work.

And boy, is that hard to do!

But the benefits of doing it are HUGE!

The more you exercise your perception “muscles”, the more you’ll actually see, and the way you experience the world will change and deepen.

The video goes a little deeper into the benefits of practicing observation.

It’s almost like magic. So if you are observing a figure, a still life or a landscape – it really doesn’t matter the subject – the more you look, the more connection you’ll build between yourself and that subject.

Connection.

That’s an important thing for our culture.

What do you want to create a stronger connection with?

Observation is one of the best ways to get started.

Breaking Storm

Breaking Storm

“Breaking Storm”, oil, 5 x 7”, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson

31 Clouds Day 6
Sneak Peek #2​

We are officially in the Dog Days of Summer here.

The thermometer rises up to the 90s most afternoons. And the near daily thunderstorms of late summer mean that the air is pretty much liquid (90% humidity).

But watching those storms roll in across the fields is a reminder of nature’s power.

Standing on the edge of earth, water, and sky.

Happy Cloud-watching!
Mary

PS – I’m spending a month cloud watching and cloud painting, creating a collection of 31 Clouds. All of you on my email list are getting a few sneak peeks each week before a full preview just for my email list on September 10th.