View Full Version : How I paint clouds

02-22-2006, 05:11 PM

By posting this thread I don't pretend to transmit that I know how to paint clouds better than someone else, but maybe I can transmit something that can be usefull.
It's common to beginners to paint flat clouds and with using practically just white.
As you know, clouds are not flat and they are not white (altough they can be pretty close to pure white).
So lets see if I can give an idea on how I work them.
Using usually the side part of the stick (altough I may use the tip, it depends), I choose a colour that is closer to the overall colour of the cloud.
It's usually a very pale yellow or a grey with a yellow or blue tone.
Then I pay attention to the shadows and I tend to find a bluish grey or a greysh blue - don't be affraid to give volume to the cloud.
After this - and I use a latex glove - gently and with rapid movements I swip the edges of the cloud with the back of my fingers.
After this I go for the highlights, for which I can use a soft white (in case they have white on them of course) or the stick that equals the lightest colour of the cloud. And this time I don't swip so that the highlight doesn't dull.
Wen painting a sky it's important to pay attention to where the light is comming from and remember that Nature has some surprises so rules can be broken.
Don't forget : be bold ! Dare yourself when painting clouds, afterall you are putting your feelings and not just « taking a photo».
Sometimes beginners also stick with too close values/colours when painting clouds and this way there's little volume.

Notice : latex has a protein than can be somewhat harmfull to some people, especially those who sweat alot from their hands.
Those people should wear vynil gloves or nitrile.

I hope to have been somewhat usefull.

Kindest regards,


P.S. of course that I'm also a beginner

02-22-2006, 05:16 PM
Jose, you are great for this. I use alot of light pinks, yellows and lavanders. I don't hardly use any white or grey. If I must, I will use a highlight white. For the blue part I will use some purples. I love doing skies. I would love to find some dramatic skies to paint.

02-22-2006, 05:27 PM
You are totally right Diane, clouds can have many colours and their shades.
It's a good exercise to pay more attention to the clouds next time we are outdoors. Just don't do this while driving :-)



02-23-2006, 10:29 AM
Jose, thanks for the lesson. How about a demo to go with it?


02-23-2006, 05:51 PM
i agree. after hearing this great description, i'd like to see what it looks like. Please, Jose; we're all visual thinkers, that's why we're here!

02-23-2006, 07:58 PM

Ok, I'll do a demo.
Not because I feel confident about it, but because I don't want to be unpolite (sp?).
When I wrote this thread was just to share some ideas and not with the thought that I'm an expert on doing clouds.
Anyway, I'll be most happy to share with you, the way I paint the clouds.

Here's a link for the clouds that I'll try to paint:


I'm not going to try to depict them exactly. This is more to give you an idea of the type of clouds that I'll try to depict.
It might be fun that some of you should also post a demo on this, so we can learn with each other.

Kindest regards,


02-25-2006, 03:54 PM
Hi again,

here's a link to the Studio.
It's about a couple of clouds I did.
I hope you may find it usefull, in case you like those of course :-)


Kindest regards,