Sketchbook Study: Clouds

I started to use my sketchbook today with a quick series of sketches of some eye-catching clouds, which my husband aptly described as ‘an approaching avalanche’. The sky was a fairly uniform bluebell (blue-purple) colour and the clouds looked dramatic and white against it.


I initially tried to draw a rough outline of the scene, but the clouds formations were changing by the second, so I tried to make a number of smaller studies. I used B and 6B pencils with Caran D’Ache Prismalo I Aquarelle pencils, used dry, and one pastel pencil.

Clouds Small Sketches and Notes

The first attempt to show the edges of clouds (middle top) left a dark outline that wasn’t visible in reality, so I later tried to fill in the negative space of the sky (bottom left), which I felt was more accurate. The white edges looked a little hard, so I tried to soften them with a white pencil, but I think a pencil-shaped eraser might have given a better effect: something to add to my shopping list for future use.

Drawing is certainly something I will be doing more of: I am aiming for a page a day on average. It is something that I do not feel confident in and am sure that regular practice will improve my skill.

I felt glad to have made a start in my sketchbook. I have learned that moving subjects are probably better sketched in a series of small studies, perhaps backed up by a photograph. Next time I would probably do a pen or pencil outline more quickly when trying to capture a ‘moving target’. The page has given me some potentially useful reference material for future projects. I have added a sketchbook, notebook and pencil to my handbag, so that I can make sketches when I am out and about.

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