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  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback
  • Publication: 01 February 2017
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782214205
  • Carton Qty: 30
  • Size: 216x292 mm
  • Illustrations: 350
  • Pages: 128
  • RRP: $24.95
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How to Paint Skies


by Geoff Kersey

Edelweiss Buy Now
Book Description

The sky is arguably the most important aspect of a landscape painting. In this practical and informative guide, Geoff Kersey shows you how to paint beautiful and dramatic skies in watercolour.

Skies are an important part of landscape paintings, setting the tone of the scene as a whole and often representing the dominant feature of the composition. In this revised and updated edition of Painting Skies which includes material from Geoff’s Top Tops for Watercolour Artists, Geoff Kersey imparts his knowledge and expertise to artists of all abilities, demonstrating how to paint skies that give a sense of cohesion, place and atmosphere to your landscape paintings.

Painting skies is also the best way to learn how watercolour behaves, and there is a large section at the start of the book that explains the techniques you need to produce a broad range of effects. Including a stormy sky, a summer sky, an evening glow, a sunset and low cloud. This comprehensive guide also includes information on the materials you need, drawing and sketching, using photographs, composition, colour and perspective, and throughout the book are examples of Geoff’s finished artworks to provide inspiration and ideas for compositions of your own. The book finishes with six glorious, step-by-step projects to put into practice all you have learnt and give you the confidence to incorporate stunning skies into your own watercolour landscape paintings.

Table of Contents

Drawing and sketching
Using photographs
Creating perspective
Clear Sky in Winter
Cloud Shadows
Sky and Water
Stormy Sky
Light and Atmosphere
Evening Light

About the Author

About Geoff Kersey

Geoff Kersey is an experienced watercolourist and is much in demand as a teacher and demonstrator. He lives and works in Derbyshire, where he has a studio, and he exhibits extensively. He has made many watercolour DVDs, contributes to various art publications and has written many best-selling watercolour books. He now runs highly successful online tutorials via his website



Using photographs, Geoff explains colour, perspective and composition before moving on to some basic exercises that involve washes, brushwork, clouds, sunsets and more.

Artists & Illustrators

Skies are a tricky yet essential part of landscape paintings. This book begins with advice to help you understand how watercolour behaves, so you can produce a broad range of effects, before outlining the materials you will need, and finishing with six indepth step-by-step projects.

Once again, Search Press have been raiding and renovating their backlist.

I reviewed this on its original publication in 2006, so theres little to add here except to say that the reissue has been redesigned and that some additional material has been added from Geoffs Top Tips for Watercolour Artists to beef up the technical sections. The result is a freshness that belies the books age and it feels, as it is, thoroughly up to date.


Originally reviewed 22nd August 2006:

Its all John Constables fault. If he hadnt been a Suffolk lad, English painting wouldnt be so tied up in big skies. Thats the thing about a flat landscape: theres not a lot of foreground and an awful lot of up there and, because we have an island climate, theres a lot going on in it as well.

So, an English landscape is always going, more or less, to stand or fall on its sky and another book on the subject is always handy. This one comes in Search Presss Watercolour Tips & Techniques series which is aimed at painters who have developed a reasonable facility but are still in the relatively early stages of the learning process. Lavishly illustrated and with plenty of detailed step-by-step demonstrations, theres never any problem with seeing whats going on and all of the books in the series are clearly written and presented and are easy to follow.

Geoff Kersey is a capable painter and he is particularly good at handling and demonstrating the use of washes and granulation to achieve a variety of effects that make for interesting and varied skies. If I have a quibble, its that maybe his foregrounds are a little bit flat and that the overall result maybe doesnt scream hang me on the wall as loudly as it might, but thats a personal preference. Youre not buying the paintings, youre buying a book thatll help you paint effective skies and thats what this will do. Its a book thatll repay continued study and almost certainly will help you quite thoroughly on your way. Its not one of those books that looks good but fails to deliver or one which youll admire like heck but know youll never emulate. Its a money well spent.

The Leisure Painter


For the landscape painter, skies are all-important - setting the tone and atmosphere of the scene. Geoff Kersey's revised and updated book , How to Paint Skies brings us plenty of practical advice on how to tackle the subject of skies in watercolour and give a sense of cohesion and atmosphere to your work. Skies covered include, amongst others, a stormy sky, a summer sky, evening glow, sunset and low cloud. There's information on materials you'll need, how to sketch skies, use photographs, compostion colour and perspective. The book closes with six step-by-step projects for you to try out your new found skills.

A flick through this book reveals some wonderful examples of watercolour not just skies. Skies are often difficult to capture, to make them look real and if you get it wrong, the whole painting can be spoiled. Geoff offers solutions in this book and ways to paint skies. At the front of the book, you'll find techniques that will help you paint not just skies, but that can also be applied other features of a painting too. You'll find all the information on materials too. You'll discover how to depict some popular 'themes' regarding skies - stormy, low cloud, a glow, sunset and summer skies. Geoff's paintings shown throughout the book provide plenty of inspiration. The 6 step-by-step projects ensure that you can have a go and improve your techniques. This updated and revised edition includes previously published work. Recommended.

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