Painting Watercolor Clouds

Drawing inspiration from the sky? Master the art of painting clouds in watercolor with this tutorial from Beginning Watercolor.

Mastering The Sky
Watercolors are arguably better suited to painting skies than any other landscape feature. By practicing different methods, you might be surprised by the results you can achieve! You can paint a sky without clouds, such as with a graded wash, but you will eventually need to paint clouds. There are many approaches to these ephemeral structures, and I’ll touch on two.

soft egded cloud, Beginning Watercolor

Clouds with soft edges:
You can create their blurry-edge effect by wetting an area larger than you actually want the cloud to be. Paint the sky in negative space around the clouds, and let the paint touch the wet area. The pigment will spread into the clouds.

Hard edged cloud, Beginning Watercolor

Clouds with hard edges:
Create these by leaving the paper dry when you paint the sky around a cloud shape. This technique is useful for creating big, billowy clouds with more distinct shapes.

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beginning-watercolorFrom the first brushstroke to the finishing touch, let the Portfolio series guide you as you begin your artistic journey in watercolor painting.

Beginning Watercolor teaches aspiring artists everything they need to know to get started painting in watercolor. This helpful resource begins with a basic introduction to the essential tools and materials artists need to get started, including choosing the right paintbrushes, watercolor paints, sketchbooks, and canvas.

Additionally, artists will learn the fundamentals of watercolor, as well as a variety of painting techniques, including creating washes, mixing colors, creating soft blends, rendering realistic textures, and working wet-into-wet. Beginning Watercolor guides beginners through a series of easy-to-follow, step-by-step projects covering a variety of watercolor methods and techniques, including helpful tips and advice when painting landscapes, still lifes, portraits, and more.

With helpful tips and detailed, beautiful artwork to guide and inspire, Beginning Watercolor is the perfect resource for watercolor artists just getting started in this colorful medium.