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Painting weather Phenomena


My wife and I live in the wonderful state of Kansas with big open prairie land. All this open land without any mountains makes it easy to view stormy weather. I always wanted to paint a tornado and this was my first attempt.

I wanted most of the attention on the tornado itself so there is very little ground in the painting. I also wanted to make sure a green hue was included because tornadoes are often surrounded by hail which puts kind of an aqua green glow in the clouds. I first applied the dark areas of the painting in the upper left and right hand corners which is a mixture of burnt umber, phthalo blue, and a little dioxazine purple. As I worked my way to the bottom I started using more purple. In the middle part I used phthalo green and black. I painted all this leaving rough texture and billowing cloud shapes. I then lightly blended all of this together, being very careful not to over blend and loose the nice texture and shapes I created. I then used titanium white and started painting the shapes that make the funnel appearance of the tornado letting it pick up the under painting that I already did to dirty the color a little. I then went over it with a blender or mop brush that has very soft bristles. This knocked off some of the hard edges of the paint without over blending.

At the bottom I wanted to show the destructive power of a twister by adding a little metal shed structure with the tornado starting to get close enough to suck the building up into the cloud. If you look close enough, you can also see the hay trailer being sucked up into the air along with the wooden frame of the shed and the corrugated sheet metal that makes up the outside of the the structure.

I just put a little grassy area at the bottom with hardly any detail along with the fence to set the tornado back into the distance. I wanted you to feel like you are about a half a mile away from the twister. Far enough that you want to watch, but close enough that you want to run!

Hope you all enjoy this little painting and I hope it brings inspiration. I have sold the original to this one but I do have prints available for $60 a piece. Like most of my prints, there will only be 500 printed and they will be signed and numbered so get them while they're hot. Thank you very much.