Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sky Study

One of my very favorite things to paint are dramatic skies. To me, there's nothing more interesting , challenging and rewarding, if done convincingly. The fact that the sky never looks the same way twice lends limitless opportunities to portray it's ever-changing moods. In my view, the sky is like the backdrop for a stage play. It influences everything around it by setting the tone and theme of what is to come. No matter how beautiful your foreground elements are, they will only be as strong as your sky. It's like building a house on a weak foundation. Trouble can only follow.

I get many, many comments and compliments on my "skies", both from students and from clients. When that happens, I feel that I've accomplished my goal with that particular piece, taking the viewer to that specific time and place.

This one is in Oil and was started a few days ago and allowed to dry, which allowed the "sunbeams" to be rendered more transparently, and thus more realistically. I used the tip of a palette knife to apply the "silver lining", which works great for that effect.


Queen*B Studio said...

Wow! I love it!!!


Mikes1024 said...

Hi Wilson...what a beautiful painting. It really seems as if something good is about to happen once the sun comes through. I do love the sky, especialy the rays pouring down.

Wilson said...

Thanks you guys!

Christy McGuire said...

This is gorgeous do paint clouds very well! Great piece!

Wilson said...

Thanks, Christy. They're one of my favorite landscape elements to create, so I'm constantly observing them for future reference.

marion said...

hi wilson,
I'm not sure you remember me but you taught me so much and i am very thankful. I didn't think i had any talent. I went to the st. Regis falls classes. last year. I love all of your work but the skies are the best there so much fun, I can't wait to buy your book.I live in Fl. now but i will be back in N.Y in may will you be giving classes this summer in the falls. keep up the wonderful work you do, thank you Marion Szarka

Wilson said...

Hi Marion,
Yes, I sure do remember you. You're missing a wonderful Winter up here this year! lol
As for my book, you can get it as a "pre-order" right now at for quite a bit less than the "bookshelf" price is going to be. Go to and "search" Wilson Bickford. It'll pop right up.
While I don't have anything scheduled specifically in St.Regis Falls, I will be in Malone during the Summer months.

marion said...

It's ok because you will be in Massena i will go there or Malone, cant wait to paint with you teaching again thanks a lot

Marion Szarka

Wilson said...

Same here, Marion. Let's do it!