"No more boring skies!" That is what my friend Ed said about his paintings. He was determined to fill the skies of his watercolor paintings with majestic clouds and awe inspiring sunshine.
In this art lesson I'll show you (and Ed) how to draw clouds with pencil, colored pencil or marker. Whether you want to know how to draw a cloud or a hundred clouds. The secret of drawing clouds is in the shading. Without shading, your clouds will look flat and boring. Jump down to "How to Draw Clouds Step by Step"
In art, a cloudscape is the depiction of a view of clouds or the sky. Usually, the clouds are depicted as viewed from the earth. Cloudscapes often include just enough of a landscape to suggest scale, orientation, and distance.
The terms cloudscape and skyscape are sometimes used interchangeably, although a skyscape does not necessarily include a view of clouds. In this free online art lesson "How to Draw Clouds Step by Step" you will learn a method of drawing cartoon style clouds.
Clouds are actually little more than water vapor and dust, so drawing clouds can be quite a challenge. There are many types of clouds, but often when we think of clouds we think of the kids called cumulus. Cumulus clouds are the big puffy kind. Clouds are classified into a system that uses Latin words to describe their appearance.
Cumulus clouds means that they "heap" up, these clouds usually have puffy, lumpy tops. Stratus clouds have a "layered or spread out" look like layers of soft cottony blankets in the sky, Cirrus clouds are "curly" like a curl of hair, ("You could have a cirrusly bad hair day." :) and Nimbus is Latin for "rainstorm or rain cloud"
Clouds are also named according to how high in the atmosphere they are. Clouds named with the prefix "Cirrus" are located at high levels while cloud names with the prefix "alto", as in altostratus, are found at middle levels. For more about cloud names you can visit Wikipedia.
Now let's get started with "How to Draw Clouds Step by Step."
Sketch out your clouds with pencil. You can use a blue colored pencil or a regular pencil. We are drawing cumulus clouds, so make them mostly flat on the bottom and lumpy on top. In nature, warm rising air pushes the clouds up into the atmosphere making them tall and puffy. In your case, you can just draw overlapping circles and ovals to form your clouds ~ no warm rising air required!
Using your pencil or a marker, draw the cloud's lumps. It's sort of like drawing "M"s, so stop after two or three and start a new set of lumps attached to the side of the previous ones. Also vary the size of the cloudy lumps to add variety to your clouds' edges. Remember to keep the bottom of the clouds mostly straight.
Now you can erase or lighten the basic cloud shapes you drew in step 1 of "How to Draw Clouds Step by Step." Once that is done, It's time to add some shading. Draw hatch marks to indicate the shady side if your cloud. The hatch marks should form curves and shapes that help define the volume of the clouds. After all, these clouds are puffy on the sides too!
How to Draw Clouds Step by Step: Completing your Cloudscape
Now, you already have some pretty nice looking clouds. Great job!
Now it's time to to turn your drawing into a cloudscape. It's time to draw the sun and color the sky. Technically I have added my sun to the wrong side of the clouds for the shading to be correct. But, this is where my daughter wanted the sun and I was not paying attention to the direction of light indicated by the shading a the time. We all make mistakes, so yourself some too. You may want to put your sun on the right side of the clouds to be more accurate.
To give my sun extra visual energy, have added some orange curly strokes and a halo around its edges. Feel free make our own interesting marks. This is part of what makes artwork different from a photograph. The key difference lies in your personal artistic touch!
Finish off your lesson with a pretty blue sky. By using hatching in groups of strokes, give the sky some texture as if there are more distant clouds in the atmosphere.
Congratulations you have finished this lesson,
"How to Draw Clouds Step by Step!" Go stick your drawing on the fridge and let your friends and family marvel at you artistic ability!
More Reference Images for How to Draw Clouds Step by Step from Gordo's Cloud Gallery.
Learn more about Clouds at Wikipedia
Smart Art Institute Online Lesson MT113 - Categories: Cartoons, Graphic Design Schools Prep., Kids Art Classes, Academy of Art University Prep., Graphic Design Colleges Prep, Fine Arts Degree Prep.
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