How to Paint Clouds
Clouds can be surprisingly difficult to paint. The key is creating a balance between their delicate, transparent nature, whilst also giving body and contrast. Here are a couple of simple techniques you can experiment with on your next painting project.
Start by painting clean water across the paper to dampen it. Next, paint your sky. You want to create a graduated effect an intense blue at the top and light blue with a hint of ochre at the bottom.
Now, using a dry brush, roll it across the sky, so it picks up paint and leaves white areas for the clouds. You can also curve the brush and start to give form to the clouds. Once you have sufficient white sections for the clouds, dry your brush again, so you don’t add paint where it’s not wanted.
To add definition to your clouds, you will need to use some grey paint. A more robust grey works best. Paint the underside of one part of the cloud with grey. The other side should be left white as it shows where the light is hitting.
First of all, paint your background and then let it dry to avoid picking up background colour in your clouds.
Next, you need to sketch out your clouds using your background colour with some with and black paint added. Use a dry brush to sketch out the outline of your clouds.
Once you have the rough outline, create the shape of the clouds using layers of lighter colours. You can work in circles to get a cloud texture and continue to add white to make the layers lighter. To create additional depth and texture, you can add small patches of your background colour to your clouds.
Clouds also need highlights. Cream is a better colour option for adding highlights as white tends to be too stark. Use cream or off white to brush around the shapes you have already created. This will give the impression of sunlight hitting the cloud.
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