Ascending Sky - Original Oil Painting of Clouds in the Sky and a Lesson About Painting Edges

"Ascending Sky"
8" x 6" oil on linen panel.
Available for a limited time at a low starting bid on

Also available in a high quality print through my ImageKind gallery. Click here to see it.

This was painting during my Monday night oil painting class. With this view the edges where two colors meet are critical and that was what I had my students focus on - edges.

Most people when they are first learning to paint are very careful with their edges. All that well-intentioned care often translates into hard and precise edges where two colors meet which can be visually distracting. Painting clouds is a great way to learn to loosen up your edges because clouds will look like hard floating lumps in the sky if you don't. Also, the slightly transparent quality to clouds means that you need to blend a little bit of sky color into them in order to get that effect. In addition, clouds will have small bits that have broken off of the main group and taken flight. Adding a few spots of cloud color to the sky will help create that look.

In my painting you can see that I did create hard edges when I painted in the fence. That was a calculated decision. Fences are much harder surfaces than clouds and therefore painting them with sharper edges O.K. In this case the fence is also a foreground element that leads into the painting and draws your eye towards the clouds. That is another reason for hard edges along the fence line.

Knowing how paint a variety of edges allows me to control and enhance the focal point in every painting.

If you find that your painting lacks a strong focal point, check your edges.


Dana Cooper said…
Great post about the importance of edges, your student's have a great teacher!
Very good post, Kim. I can tell you are an excellent instructor.

The painting is beautiful and the clouds are perfect,
Very good post, Kim. I can tell you are an excellent instructor.

The painting is beautiful and the clouds are perfect,
Kelley Sanford said…
Great lesson, Kim. Edges are so critical and you're right that students often may the mistake of hardening an edge, when softening might be the key to the successful painting. Nice work.
martinealison said…
Il est bon de retrouver vos oeuvres après plus de 6 semaines d'absence... Je rentre tout juste des Philippines...
Une très belle peinture avec un ciel superbe.
Gros bisous
Love reading your posts Kim. Nice painting and the fence posts are doing exactly what you said. Great subject for explaining edges. You are soooo smart.

Popular Posts