Lichtenstein used the popular comic book style in his art, drawing inspiration from the medium to bring into a different form. In 'Cloud and Sea' it is possible to see the dots in place of traditional shading, inspired by the Ben-Day dots used at the time in printing comic book art, though Lichtenstein exaggerated the effect dramatically. The darker dots on a lighter background bring depth to the sky and to the clouds without detracting from the strong lines.
During his most popular period (the same period in which this painting was created), Lichtenstein occasionally faced questions on whether using a method from comic book art made his work derivative and, perhaps, not even true art. However, looking at 'Cloud and Sea' and seeing the way he took this simple style and turned it into something new, it is impossible to deny that the eye-catching scene is anything but art. There is a reason his style remains popular, as it perhaps appeals to the younger part of our minds, even for those uninterested in comic books.
Somehow with the use of these firm lines and simple dots, Lichtenstein creates a scene that feels alive and fresh in a way that is not easy to produce. The colours contrast well, with the warmth of the oranges against the dark cold of the navy blue, both standing out nicely against the white background and the curves of the cloud. Though it is not a complex image, it is nonetheless a common scene presented in a fashion that feels new even forty years later.
It is talent indeed to take such a basic concept and raise it into high art that remains popular even today. The layers of the scene may be presented in simple lines and dots, but that only makes them even more eye-catching, as it breaks down a natural scene into something artificial and deconstructs it into a new shape.