Learn the art of painting clouds with this step-by-step acrylic painting tutorial. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced painter, mastering cloud techniques can be a challenge. In this guide, we will focus on painting fluffy, dreamy, cumulus clouds against a beautiful purple to pink gradient sky.
To create this painting, you will need the following materials:
- Liquitex BASICS student grade acrylic paints (48 piece set)
- Extra titanium white tube
- Various brushes (3/4″ flat wash brush, #4 round brush, #12 bright brush, 10/0 round brush)
For this tutorial, we will be using the following colors:
- Ultramarine blue
- Dioxazine purple
- Quinacridone magenta
- Titanium white
1. Paint Gradient Sky
Start by blending ultramarine blue and dioxazine purple on your palette. Use a 3/4″ flat wash brush and paint left and right strokes to create a horizontal gradient sky effect. Begin at the top of the canvas, gradually transitioning from dark blue to a light blue-purple in the middle, and then to pink at the bottom.
2. Draw/ Paint Crescent Moon
Using a white color pencil or chalk pencil, trace a circle on the upper left part of the canvas to represent the moon. Paint the moon with a #4 round brush.
3. Paint Stars
To create stars, dilute titanium white with water to achieve an ink-like consistency. Use a toothbrush to flick small white dots onto the sky, mimicking stars.
4. Paint Dark Layer of Clouds
Using a #12 bright brush, mix a dark gray-purple color on your palette. Apply a small amount of paint to the brush and wipe off any excess. With light, circular strokes, create the shape of the clouds, focusing on the bottom and middle areas of the canvas. Overlap the moon slightly for a natural effect.
5. Paint Highlights on Clouds (medium color)
Prepare a lighter version of the purple-gray color used for the dark layer of clouds. Apply the lighter color only to the top left edges of the clouds, maintaining translucency. This technique adds dimension and form to the clouds.
6. Paint More Highlights on Clouds (lighter color)
Create a third, even lighter, shade of gray-purple by adding more titanium white to your brush. Again, focus on the top left edges of the clouds, extending them slightly and accentuating the highlights. Add the light highlight color where the cloud overlaps the moon as well.
7. Paint More Star Details
Use a small round brush to paint individual stars, making some appear as glowing or diamond-like stars. Add clusters of dots throughout the sky to enhance the starry effect.
Congratulations! You have successfully painted “dreamy clouds” with acrylic paint. Remember, painting clouds can be challenging, but with practice, you will improve your skills. Keep experimenting with different techniques and brushstrokes to achieve the desired effects. Enjoy your painting journey!
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