Here is a painting I did during the course. Part invention and part plein air sketch. I used a 3-step process starting with a thumbnail, then a value study, then finally the painting, done wet-in-wet. I like the process, it feels logical to me. First handle composition and values, then get down to color.
|Grasslands, 9x12", oil on linen|
Here are the thumbnail and value study for Grasslands.
|Thumbnail, 2x3", graphite on 90lb sketch paper|
I did 5 thumbnails before choosing that one to work up. It takes less than 30 minutes to generate a thumbnail and, for that small effort, you get to glimpse a finished painting. Here are the other thumbs I did for the assignment. I will probably turn one of the nocturnes into a painting, too.
The best reference I know on clouds is chapter 10 of Carlson’s Guide to Landscape Painting. If you are interested in this subject, that's a good place to start.