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A day with John Constable on Hampstead Heath

Mid-morning

Constable seems to skip the next stage, of a few isolated cumulus clouds which rapidly deepen and extend over the sky. Perhaps he took an hour or so break to have breakfast! The next block of sketches, numbers 4 to 9, show well developed vigorous cumulus clouds, covering around half the sky. This is a typical stage, in which the individual, isolated cumulus clouds begin to merge together. The six sketches in this section show different lighting conditions. Numbers 4 and 5 are looking towards the sun, so that dark clouds are silhouetted against a generally light sky. Numbers 6 and 7 have the sun behind the artist, illuminating brilliant white clouds against a darker sky. Numbers 8 and 9 show dark clouds with bright edges, a view looking towards, but not directly into, the sun.

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