Learning Clouds/Introduction to Oil

One of the best aspects of beginning a new project is the chance to learn a about a new subject, or maybe to delve deeper into something you knew a little about. For The Cloud Project my initial goal was to create work that could educate the viewer about clouds, so I needed to learn about them myself.

I remember being in the car with my mum on the way back to Cardiff after summer and being on the Met Office site the entire way, using their cloud education pages to identify any clouds I saw along the journey.

To help myself learn the cloud types, I went through my archive of cloud pictures, with the aim of finding an example of all the main cloud types to copy in acrylic paint. I only ever got about half way through the main cloud types because it was around this time that I also started using oil paint, and I haven’t used acrylic since.

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I began by doing a few experiments because it had been suggested to me as a material I might be able to work well with several times. I picked up a few colours that I liked the look of and gave it a go, and instantly fell in love with it. The malleability of the material makes working with broad expressive brushstrokes so much more effective. As my approach to painting becomes more fluid, I feel that oil paint will only serve to enhance this. There are the advantages that come from the properties of the paint as well, these being the fact that it takes a long time to fully dry out. I can spend a lot longer working into a painting, so I’m able to develop it a lot further then if I was using acrylic. I’m definitely going to continue to use oil paint throughout this project, and into my future endeavours.


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