How To Paint Clouds Acrylic In 3 Steps? Easiest Way To Create Realistic Clouds

Are you struggling with painting realistic-looking clouds in your acrylic artwork? Do you want to learn how to capture the beauty and essence of a cloudy sky on your canvas? 

You’re lucky to have landed this page. In this blog post, I’ll teach you the techniques, requirements, and tips on how to paint clouds acrylic. Here are the quickest steps:

  1. Pick up a light blue or white color for the sky and use a dry brush to create wispy clouds. 
  1. Now, employ a darker shade of blue to create shadows and depth. 
  1. Finally, add highlights with a lighter shade of blue or white to make the clouds pop.

One of my favorites is Bob Ross, who was a brain of painting landscapes and clouds. His techniques were always precise, yet he encouraged artists to embrace their own creativity and find their own style. 

I also had the pleasure of attending a workshop with Mary Whyte, a renowned watercolor artist who taught me about the importance of observing and capturing the subtle nuances of nature in my paintings. 

Their wisdom and insights have influenced my approach to painting and inspired me to share my knowledge with others. 

Tools Required To Paint Clouds With Acrylic 

For painting clouds, you will require the following tools:

  • Reference Photo

It’s always helpful to have a reference photo of clouds to help guide you in your painting. You can pick the clouds painting ideas or photos from Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook.

  • Acrylic Paint

Clouds can be painted with any acrylic paint brand available in the market. However, I suggest you use high-quality paints for better results.

  • Brushes

You will need paint brushes of different sizes and shapes. But what is the best brush to paint clouds in acrylic? 

No matter what brand you select, make sure you have two kinds of brushes. A flat brush can be used for large areas, and a round brush can be used for details.

  • Canvas/Other Surface

You can use a canvas or any other surface that can hold acrylic paints.

  • Water

You will need water to thin down acrylic paint for some effects. It is also needed to clean brushes.

  • Palette

A palette is required to mix the colors and create different shades.

  • Spray Bottle

A spray bottle can be used to moisten the surface or to blend acrylic paint

  • Paper Towels

To wipe off excess paint or to clean your acrylic brushes.

  • Easel

An easel can be used to hold the canvas while you paint. If an easel is not available, use a flat surface.

What Colors Do You Need To Paint Clouds?

When painting clouds, it is helpful to use colors wisely to capture the various tones and textures of clouds. Some common colors that I use for painting clouds include white, blue, gray, yellow, orange, and pink.

  1. White

It is the most common color used for painting clouds because it represents the highlighted areas of the clouds, which are the areas that receive the most light.

Mixing white with a touch of blue can give the cloud a cool, serene feel while adding a touch of yellow or orange can add warmth to the cloud.

  1. Gray 

It is another useful color for clouds painting, as it represents the darker, shaded areas of the clouds. It can also be mixed with white to create different shades and tones.

  1. Blue 

It is often used for painting the sky around the clouds and can also be used to add depth and shading to the clouds themselves.

  1. Pink 

Pink is an optional color, but I use it to put in a soft, romantic touch to clouds while also representing the warmer regions of the cloud. Mixing pink with white can create a delicate, ethereal effect.

How To Paint Clouds With Acrylic Paint? Step By Step Guide

Drawing clouds with acrylics is quite a simple and easy process. You just need focus and good grip over color mixing for sold transition between colors. Here is how to paint clouds in acrylic:  

Step 1: Use A Dry Brush To Create Wispy Clouds

The first step to painting clouds with acrylics is to pick up a light blue or white color for the sky as a background. 

Use a dry brush to develop wispy clouds by lightly dragging the brush across the surface of the canvas. 

This will produce a soft, airy effect, similar to the look of clouds. Make sure to use a light hand when creating the wispy clouds to avoid making them look too heavy or overwhelming.

For a more realistic look, try varying the size and shape of your clouds. Some clouds may be small and round, while others may be long and thin. This will add interest and variety to your painting.

Step 2: Add Cloud Shadows And Depth

Once you have created your wispy clouds, it’s time to add some depth and shadow. Use a darker shade of blue to create shadows under the clouds. The grey color is also ideal for shadows. 

This will create the illusion that the clouds are floating above the surface of the canvas.

For more attraction and depth, try creating shadows in different areas of your clouds. For example, you may want to develop shadows on the bottom of the cloud or on the side facing away from the light source.

Step 3: Add Highlights With Lighter Color Shades 

The final step in painting clouds using acrylics is to add highlights. Use a lighter shade of blue or white to create highlights on the top of the clouds. 

This will create the illusion that the sun is shining on the clouds, making them pop.

When creating highlights, be sure to use a light hand and apply the paint sparingly. Too much paint can make the clouds look too bright and overpowering.

For highlights, sometimes, I use pink color to add some feeling of romance to my painting. Moreover, for a warmer effect, I try to put in yellow and orange colors.  

How To Paint Clouds With A Sponge?

If you’re looking for a unique way to give your artwork some extra dimension, try painting clouds with a sponge. It is simple, just pick a sponge that can soak up paint effectively, with a surface that’s full of pores. 

Dip the sponge into a mixture of white, light blue, and gray paint, and then tap it onto the canvas softly in circular motions to form fluffy cloud shapes. 

Play around with different levels of pressure and angles to give your clouds more texture and variety. 

How To Paint Clouds With Cotton Balls?

Painting clouds with cotton balls is the same as using a sponge. You just have to appoint the right type of strategies and colors. The basic procedure is similar. 

Cotton balls are generally handled by professional artists, but beginners can try out them as well.

Different Kinds Of Clouds

There are different types of clouds you can try in your painting. Each one has different requirements regarding color combinations, but their basic way is almost the same. 

  1. How To Paint Storm Clouds Acrylic Easy?

Storm clouds are dramatic and moody, with dark colors and sharp edges. To draw them, begin with a dark background and use a dry brush technique to add lighter areas for texture. 

Use a mix of blue and gray for the base color, then layer in darker shades of gray and black for depth. 

Add highlights of white or yellow for lightning flashes, and use a fan brush to produce wispy edges.

  1. How To Paint Smoke Clouds?

Smoke clouds are ethereal and wispy, with a soft, diffuse quality. You have to employ a dry brush with light, feathery strokes. 

Start with a light background and layer in gray or black and gradually build up the density of the smoke. 

Use cotton swab to make feathery edges, and put in highlights of white or yellow to suggest light shining through the smoke.

  1. How To Paint Dark Clouds?

When creating an ominous and foreboding atmosphere, dark clouds with deep shades of gray and black can be highly effective. 

Begin by using a dark background, and then employ a dry brush strategy to introduce texture and depth. 

To form the base color, mix blue and grey hues together, and then layer in darker shades of grey and black for added density.

  1. How To Paint Night Clouds?

The evening sky is often graced by understated and evocative clouds, characterized by their blue and purple hues. 

To capture their essence, begin by creating a dark backdrop and then add areas of lighter shades using a dry brush technique to create a sense of texture. 

Mix blue and purple together to form the base color, and then layer in darker shades of blue and black to infuse depth into the scene. 

Highlight the clouds with white or yellow tones to emulate stars or the soft glow of moonlight.

  1. How To Paint Fluffy Clouds?

Fluffy clouds are soft and puffy, with rounded shapes and bright white colors. For drawing them, use a wet-on-wet technique with a mix of white and blue. 

Use a round brush to create rounded shapes, and blend the edges for a soft, fluffy effect. Don’t forget pure white highlights for brightness and depth.

  1. How To Paint Clouds Sunset?

Sunset clouds can be warm and vibrant, with shades of orange, red, and pink. 

To paint them, start with a light background and layer in the colors of your choice, blending the edges for a soft, dreamy effect. 

As the sunset progresses, use darker shades of orange and red to indicate the fading light.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How to paint sky acrylic?

For this purpose, take a clean canvas and select the colors you want to use. Use a large brush to paint the sky, starting at the top of the canvas and working downwards. You can meld colors by mixing them colors. Use lighter colors near the horizon and gradually darken the color as you move up toward the top side.

What can I use to make clouds in acrylic paint?

There are numerous techniques that can be utilized to create clouds with acrylic paint. One technique involves using a dry brush to produce a delicate and see-through effect, while another method involves using a palette knife to generate a more tactile surface. 

How to do a cloud effect with paint?

Achieving a cloud effect with paint involves utilizing either a dry-brushing method or a sponge. You can take start by saturating your brush or sponge with a light hue, followed by sweeping it across the surface to form soft, cloud-shaped patterns. For added depth and dimension, layer on darker shades.

What is the easiest way to paint clouds?

The easiest way to paint clouds is by utilizing a dry brush with light, circular strokes and layering different shades of white and gray paint to build a sense of depth and dimension.

Final Thoughts On How To Paint Clouds Acrylic

That was all from my side. I hope the post helps you get your dream painting of clouds and sky. I tried my best to mention every minor detail. However, if you’re confused or have queries in your mind, comment below or watch a good cloud painting video or tutorial on YouTube. Thank You!

Jose Scott

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