As a change from the last few paintings that had a very narrow tonal range I fancied painting something with some dramatic contrast and I already had in the back of my mind to do a few sky paintings. I have always liked paintings with a large cloud dominating the sky as a composition so I have combined it with an homage (again) to Bocklin's Isle of the Dead as I wanted something dark breaking up the horizon. I hope it has a dramatic but melancholy feel to the picture with some people tempted to think that this has a lot of autobiographical undertones to it but as far as I am concerned it's about lighting and atmosphere!
This stage was "drawn" up with a small bristle brush using a mix of Burnt Sienna and Winsor Violet thinned with Liquin and turpentine, the same paint mix then applied to the sky with a rag.
This warm underpainting will be sitting under a lot of cold blues, greys and browns as you will see in later stages.