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How to Paint Skies


Product Description
Product Details

Table of Contents

Drawing and sketching
Using photographs
Creating perspective
Clear Sky in Winter
Cloud Shadows
Sky and Water
Stormy Sky
Light and Atmosphere
Evening Light

About the Author

Geoff Kersey is an experienced watercolourist and is much in demand as a teacher and demonstrator. He lives and works in Derbyshire, where he has a studio, and he exhibits extensively. He has made many watercolour DVDs, contributes to various art publications and has written many bestselling watercolour books.


Skies are a tricky yet essential part of landscape paintings. This book begins with advice to help you understand how watercolour behaves, so you can produce a broad range of effects, before outlining the materials you will need, and finishing with six indepth step-by-step projects.

* artists & illustrators *

Once again, Search Press have been raiding and renovating their backlist.

I reviewed this on its original publication in 2006, so there's little to add here except to say that the reissue has been redesigned and that some additional material has been added from Geoff's Top Tips for Watercolour Artists to beef up the technical sections. The result is a freshness that belies the book's age and it feels, as it is, thoroughly up to date.

Originally reviewed 22nd August 2006:

It's all John Constable's fault. If he hadn't been a Suffolk lad, English painting wouldn't be so tied up in big skies. That's the thing about a flat landscape: there's not a lot of foreground and an awful lot of up there and, because we have an island climate, there's a lot going on in it as well.

So, an English landscape is always going, more or less, to stand or fall on its sky and another book on the subject is always handy. This one comes in Search Press's Watercolour Tips & Techniques series which is aimed at painters who have developed a reasonable facility but are still in the relatively early stages of the learning process. Lavishly illustrated and with plenty of detailed step-by-step demonstrations, there's never any problem with seeing what's going on and all of the books in the series are clearly written and presented and are easy to follow.

Geoff Kersey is a capable painter and he is particularly good at handling and demonstrating the use of washes and granulation to achieve a variety of effects that make for interesting and varied skies. If I have a quibble, it's that maybe his foregrounds are a little bit flat and that the overall result maybe doesn't scream "hang me on the wall" as loudly as it might, but that's a personal preference. You're not buying the paintings, you're buying a book that'll help you paint effective skies and that's what this will do. It's a book that'll repay continued study and almost certainly will help you quite thoroughly on your way. It's not one of those books that looks good but fails to deliver or one which you'll admire like heck but know you'll never emulate. It's a money well spent.

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For the landscape painter, skies are all-important - setting the tone and atmosphere of the scene. Geoff Kersey's revised and updated book , How to Paint Skies brings us plenty of practical advice on how to tackle the subject of skies in watercolour and give a sense of cohesion and atmosphere to your work. Skies covered include, amongst others, a stormy sky, a summer sky, evening glow, sunset and low cloud. There's information on materials you'll need, how to sketch skies, use photographs, compostion colour and perspective. The book closes with six step-by-step projects for you to try out your new found skills.

* The Leisure Painter *

A flick through this book reveals some wonderful examples of watercolour not just skies. Skies are often difficult to capture, to make them look real and if you get it wrong, the whole painting can be spoiled. Geoff offers solutions in this book and ways to paint skies. At the front of the book, you'll find techniques that will help you paint not just skies, but that can also be applied other features of a painting too. You'll find all the information on materials too. You'll discover how to depict some popular 'themes' regarding skies - stormy, low cloud, a glow, sunset and summer skies. Geoff's paintings shown throughout the book provide plenty of inspiration. The 6 step-by-step projects ensure that you can have a go and improve your techniques. This updated and revised edition includes previously published work. Recommended.

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