Drawing Cloud Formations

1 - Cloud Formation in Oil Pastel

For this exercise I had to draw comprehensive tonal studies of cloud formations in charcoal, oil pastel and conte with the aid of a putty rubber.

It’s in the transition from rainy season to dry season here in Thailand but most of the rain happens in the afternoon and as I drew most of the following around mid day most of the clouds seemed to be developing into rain clouds.

I probably went about this exercise the wrong way, instead of drawing sketches in my sketchbook as it seemed a lot of other students have done I used separate sheets of paper and tried filling them up with not just the clouds but the blue skies behind the clouds to try and capture how the rays of light bouncing of the clouds effected the skies around them, and what a task.

1 - Cloud Formation in Oil Pastel
1 – Cloud Formation in Oil Pastel

My first drawing was started in the morning from the car park at the Tesco Lotus shopping mall where I teach. I’m still really new to oil pastel so I started the drawing by drawing in the blue skies giving me the silhouette of the cloud then drawing in the dark parts of the cloud after. I could see it was going to take me a long time but luckily there was no strong winds, which is usually the norm here in Thailand during the rainy season, as the clouds just seem to form slowly through the course of the day, so I took a photo  and finished the drawing at home.

The hardest part was depicting the sun shining behind the top of the clouds, I think I managed to do this by making the shadow of the cloud a lot darker in that area, so the white would look brighter.

I wasn’t going to be able to any more drawings until the next day so that night I decided to do something different. It was about 9 o’clock in the evening and I could see the moon shining through the sun so I took a photo of it from my window, When taking a photo of the night skies the camera seems to capture a lot more than what the eyes can see, I live on the 26th floor and I’ve often noticed that when taking photos of Bangkok at night clouds appear on photos that I didn’t think were there.

2 - Clouds at Night in Hard Pastel on Black Paper
2 – Clouds at Night in Hard Pastel on Black Paper

I originally thought that I could do the drawing just in conte but I only had three colours a dark brick, black and white but then as I started to draw more and more colours began to appear so I highlighted the moon and the clouds in yellow and orange hard pastel, a move that would change the course of the exercise.

A Photo of the Moon at Night
A Photo of the Moon at Night

The next drawings was done from my apartment window it was about half past two in the afternoon and the clouds were really starting to form now. One particular cloud caught my eye and because of the lack of wind I managed to get two drawings of it one using hard pastel for the blue skies.

3 - Cloud Formation in Charcoal
3 – Cloud Formation in Charcoal

To be honest I don’t think I captured the full body of the cloud very well in charcoal and it could have looked a lot fluffier than what it did. The next drawing in hard pastel was a lot better.

4 - Cloud Formation in Hard Pastel and Charcoal
4 – Cloud Formation in Hard Pastel and Charcoal

The next three drawings were done in my sketchbook in soft pastel. a medium that I wasn’t instructed to use in the brief but I really wanted to have ago in another medium as I wasn’t very keen on oil-pastel and because of the soft cloud formations and blue skies outside my window I thought it was very suitable, plus I haven’t done much work in soft pastel so far so it gave me a chance to use it.

6 - Sketchbook Drawng in Soft Pastel
6 – Sketchbook Drawng in Soft Pastel
5 - Sketchbook Drawing in Soft Pastel
5 – Sketchbook Drawing in Soft Pastel

The final drawing was done in the early evening and it looks like wain was on the way but it was a really nice evening the problem was lack of selection of colours in the soft pastel set that I bought so this is something I have to correct.

7 - Sketchbook Drawing in Soft Paste (Evening)
7 – Sketchbook Drawing in Soft Paste (Evening)

I haven’t done as many studies I would have liked to in this exercise but with the amount of work I have had on lately I’ve slipped right behind and I want to get moving with the final exercise in this module but I’ll hopefully be doing more cloud studies throughout this part of the course and adding them later.