11.30 a.m. Morrison’s car park, Wakefield, looking south-east YOU CAN’T draw ‘a cloud’
because they’re moving across the sky and changing shape the whole time, so it’s
more like making a record of a process. We think of them as light and fluffy, but
you can’t go about drawing them in a light and fluffy way.
It reminds me of that habitual subject of mine, my left hand, where I feel I have
to abandon all sense of what I might think looks correct in the way of elegance and
proportion and draw what I really see - awkward shapes and crumpled skin - if the
whole thing is going to have any conviction.
It’s the same with clouds; all you can do is draw the shapes, ignoring preconceived
images you may have in mind of the perfect cloud, and paint the colours as they appear
that moment. Although they consist of vapour, these clouds had sharply defined edges
when seen against the blue sky.
I used Winsor blue, green shade, for the sky, drawing with the brush the outline
of the cloud, diluting it as I came downwards towards the horizon. For the shading
on the cloud I used French ultramarine (a warmer blue than the Winsor blue, green
shade) with yellow ochre and a touch of permanent rose.