Let’s learn how to paint clouds with watercolor, 3 step-by-step lessons that will rock your landscapes! Clouds are one of the most beautiful things to paint. They can be simple or complex, and there are endless possibilities when it comes to how you can paint them.
In this blog post, we will walk you through the basics of how to paint clouds with watercolor for beginners, as well as some advanced tips that will help make your paintings even more realistic!
If you are here I would assume you want to learn! Below are some projects that start very simple and progress to more advanced ideas. Grab some paper, paint, and brushes, and let’s paint!
Table Of Contents
- Start with drawing & variegated wash
- Lift clouds with paper towel
- Paint warm & cool gray on the bottom
- Use lifting to add cloud variations
- Add warm and cool gray hues
- Add finishing touches
- Three easy ideas for painting awesome watercolor clouds
Three easy ideas for painting awesome watercolor clouds
Step one is to always keep it simple. If there is a way to make something complicated humans tend to do it. But I can tell you from experience that the most beautiful clouds and skies are often the simplest. With that in mind, let’s start with a basic cloud shape.
Idea #1; Cumulous clouds
Start with gathering the right watercolor materials.
For this you will need the right supplies:
- Good paper, I recommend and use Fabriano Artistico 140 lb cold press
- Artist-grade watercolor paint (I am using a mix of ultramarine blue, cerulean blue, cadmium red light, neutral tint and burnt sienna)
- Three brushes including a medium, or large wash brush, #12 pointed round, and #6 pointed round
- A pencil to lay-in your drawings
- And all the miscellaneous items like tape, water reservoirs, palette, etc.
Idea #2; Paint storm clouds with multiple washes
We will follow the exact same steps as the cumulous clouds, but add a second wash for the storm clouds. For this use a saturated gray and large brush that’s loaded with plenty of paint. Make the storm clouds larger towards the right edge of the paper and taper them off as they move left.
Idea #3; Stunning watercolor clouds with negative space techniques
Negative space means to paint the background of an object. This technique is very handy for painting clouds! Start by pre-wetting the cloud area. Mix up some gray paint and apply it to the sky area. For variation, try adding a little red and yellow ochre.
I hope you have found this helpful. Painting clouds can be a very rewarding experience, and it is always interesting to see how different artists approach the same subject matter. As with most things in art, practice makes perfect! Explore color and different cloud shapes. So, keep painting those clouds and I’m sure you will start to see some beautiful results.