Painting Beautiful Clouds

Let's Explore What Creates Beautiful Clouds 

The strength and beauty of clouds begins with understanding that we don't think white, but a key to painting beautiful clouds starts with soft subtle greys, and variations of temperatures that showcase the bright highlights of the cloud.

Watch the video below as I go into great detail demonstrating how to develop variations of greys to build beautiful lifelike clouds. This video contains copyrighted material by Arizona Highways Magazine and a special project I worked on. 

Beautiful Grey Tones Begin with "Air" or "Atmosphere" Color

Despite their seemingly simple appearance, the grey colors of clouds are complex and dynamic, constantly shifting and changing as they move across the sky.

What makes these grey colors so captivating is their ability to evoke a range of emotions, moods, form and realistic looking clouds. 

They can be calming and peaceful, as in the case of a serene, overcast sky that blankets the landscape in a soft light. 

Alternatively, they can be dramatic and foreboding, casting a sense of mystery and awe over the landscape. 

A key to painting beautiful clouds is for you to think about and examine your own work, while continuing to study clouds onsite and other resources.  

Tips on Painting Clouds

Oppose to using black to make grey, think color wheel and use complements.
Don't stick with one blue. Use a variety of blues to create moods.
Pay attention to values and subtle variations to bring volume and drama to your cloud.
A key to painting beautiful clouds is blocking in dark to start. Too much white in the beginning will cause your cloud to go flat.

What Complements Can Do For You

Learning to use the color wheel is a necessity for artists. The most beautiful mixtures are created by learning this skill. 

Using a variety of blues and oranges or reds create beautiful greys as seen in the images above. 

About The Color Wheel 

The color wheel is a fantastic tool for understanding how colors relate to each other and how they can be combined to create pleasing combinations. Here's a brief overview of how to use it and is the key to painting beautiful clouds. 

Primary Colors: The color wheel starts with three primary colors: red, blue, and yellow. These colors cannot be made by mixing other colors together.

Secondary Colors: When you mix two primary colors together, you get three secondary colors: green (yellow + blue), orange (red + yellow), and purple (red + blue).

Tertiary Colors: These are made by mixing a primary color with a neighboring secondary color. For example, mixing red (a primary color) with purple (a secondary color) gives you red-purple.

Complementary Colors: These are colors that are directly opposite each other on the color wheel. Complementary colors create strong contrast and can make each other appear more vibrant when placed next to each other.

Analogous Colors: These are colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. They usually match well and create a harmonious effect.

Triadic Colors: These are three colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel. Using triadic colors can create a vibrant and balanced color scheme.

Split-Complementary Colors: This is a variation of the complementary color scheme. Instead of using the color directly opposite, you use the two colors on either side of the complement.

Tints, Shades, and Tones: Tints are created by adding white to a color, shades are created by adding black, and tones are created by adding gray or black.

My Favorite Supplies and Tools


Here is a list of my favorite supplies and where you can find them. These are affiliate links, which mean I will receive a small commission. Thank YOU for your support!

These are the basic colors I use to mix beautiful greys in clouds. 

Rembrandt Ultramarine Blue Deep, GET IT HERE.

Holbein Cobalt Blue Pale: GET IT HERE. There are other blues on the market that are more affordable. Check out the information below in more resources!

Winsor & Newton Cerulean Blue, GET IT HERE.

Grumbacher Cadmium Red Light, this is the Red I use to make my "Air" Mixture. GET IT HERE

Grumbacher Cadmium Orange, GET IT HERE

Rembrandt Titanium White, My Favorite White. GET IT HERE

Your painting surface matters! I've suggest using high quality canvas panels. Such as Centurion Panels. 

Need More Help With Clouds? Step Into My Studio! 

Some Great Creative Resources for You!

Taking Care of your supplies is vitally important. A key to a painting beautiful clouds is using a fan brush to soften with. I use two different Fan Brushes. 

Rosemary Fan Series 105 # 6

Hamburg Badger Fan Blender #24 (for larger paintings) 

Watch the video below to see how to use your fan brush while painting clouds and also how to care for your fan brushes, I call this housekeeping!! IT'S A MUST!!


Linda Glover Gooch
Linda Glover Gooch

I hope you enjoyed this post. Besides being a Professional Painter, my Creative Journey has taken on a life of teaching, inspiring and helping others find their voice, grow and become skillful with their craft. Watching others gain the knowledge through practice and detailed instruction is a great reward. For the Collectors: My goal is to capture their vision, their imagination and take them to a place, a moment in time that touches their heart and soul.

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