This is what's happening on my easle
Got a painting I'm working on at the moment and I'm thinking about putting a cowboy on a horse in the distant foreground because I think the painting needs something with a little color in it. I was attempting to paint this entire painting using only 3 colors (Blue, brown, and white) but I always love using multiple colors in a painting so I think I'll do something in the foreground to warm it up a little. I posted the question to several groups on facebook and most people are agreeing with the cowboy option but I also have several people suggesting just wildlife like buffalo or elk. I also considered putting a cabin in the foreground on the right side somewhere. I've had several people ask how I paint a sky like that. I start out a painting by blocking in the major color areas and then I start working in more detail from there. I located my major cloud banks with a mixture of phthalo blue and burnt umber and white (to lighten it up). I then blocked in my mountains using lighter tones for the distant mountains and darker tones as they moved forward in the painting. I allowed all of this to dry and then I used a transparent wash (thinned the paint down with mineral spirits so you can see the background through it) of titanium white and cobalt blue to put the light rays in. I then added in more cloud layers over the light rays in a few areas and I also darkened the closer mountains to put them in front of the rays. This sets the light rays into the painting to give it a better effect. I also put in the snow ares on the distant mountains in this stage.
I'll make sure and do another blog with the finished painting as soon as I figure out what to do with the foreground.
David A. Paine