Painting Skies in Pastel: Creating dramatic clouds and atmospheric skyscapes (Paperback)

Painting Skies in Pastel: Creating dramatic clouds and atmospheric skyscapes By Sandra Orme Cover Image

Painting Skies in Pastel: Creating dramatic clouds and atmospheric skyscapes (Paperback)


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Learn how to use pastels to care skies filled with mood, atmosphere and drama.

A sky can make or break a landscape painting. In this invaluable guide, award-winning artist Sandra Orme teaches you how to create a broad range of skies in pastel, from sunsets and sunbeams, rain and storms, through to delicate dusks and dawns. Containing:

  • All the essential materials and techniques areclearly explained

  • A section on color theory focusses on those aspects key to painting skies: how to retain vibrancy; how to avoid muddy colors through the use of 'bridging' colors; and how many pastels to use for best effect. 

  • Build your skills gradually through 6 step-by-step demonstrations of particular skies worked from photographs, each looking at a particular sky effect, from the bright clouds on a fresh, blustery day to rich sunsets. Each main stage is shown both before and after blending for clarity.

  • Sandra's 'sky clinic' offers more specialist and technical help on some of the common problems readers might encounter when painting skies in pastel. A "first-aid course" in how to identify and correct common problems.

With numerous handy tips and many examples of Sandra’s stunning landscapes throughout, and assuming no prior knowledge, Sandra both instructs and inspirse you to create beautiful, realistic skies with confidence.
Sandra Orme is an associate artist with Unison Colour and has her own sets of sky pastels that she sells at workshops and online. She is also a member of the art collective, Peak District Artisans ( She regularly exhibits at local and national shows as well as galleries, and has exhibited with The Pastel Society at The Mall Galleries in London.

She has published ‘how to’ articles with both the SAA and The Artist magazines, and runs online video tutorials. Sandra has a website,, with an online shop. She is active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Product Details ISBN: 9781782219897
ISBN-10: 1782219897
Publisher: Search Press
Publication Date: September 26th, 2023
Pages: 128
Language: English

Artist Orme’s book teaches painters how to create skies and clouds using the art medium, not the color palette, of pastels. The book gives detailed instructions on choosing pastels and preparing them, setting up, taping paper, and deciding which colors to use to achieve the best results. It is worth noting that the pastel brand featured in this book might not be available in all regions, so readers may need to determine an equivalent that will work as well. Specific step-by-step projects are outlined: “Blue Sky, White Clouds,” “Cloudburst,” “Windy Weather,” “Vivid Sunset,” “Stormy,” and “Delicate Sunrise.” While the author goes to great lengths to break down techniques in a clear way that yields gorgeous results, this might not be an appropriate book for true beginning artists. At the end, there’s a “Pastel Sky Clinic,” which covers determining when the painting is finished and managing mistakes. It also explains techniques that are a little more complicated that will help readers create sunbeams and cloud wisps.
VERDICT A great title for refining or learning pastel sky techniques. Best for artists who already have some experience working in this medium.