Painting Clouds

Rustic Painting Technique

Painting Clouds isn't as difficult as it looks...

When I first set out to paint the clouds on this door, I was a little uncertain how they would turn out.  Using some simple techniques and acrylic craft paints, I got some realistic looking clouds very quickly.

First, I looked for some pictures of real clouds so I could look at how they really are.

Sue got a brand new shed to put all her gardening stuff in, and I got to paint the door, specially for it.

How Clouds Really LookHow Clouds Really Look - the real thing

I had so much fun and loved the blue background so much, blue being my favorite color after all.

The clouds are a lot like those on the TV show, The Simpsons. 

They use similar ones in their intro, and it's always fascinated me how they always look different - the three D effect of painting these onto all kinds of garden art has me hooked.

My Blue Heaven...My Blue Heaven...

Once the door has two to three coats of the background color on it, sanded in between, it is time to start. 

Of course, I didn't take pictures of the process, but here are some signs that I've painted with the clouds.

Cloud signs for the gardenCloud signs for the Carsen Andrew Memorial Garden

Instead of drawing the outlines of the clouds in a line, use a poncing method to outline the shape. 

I used silver grey and black to do the bottom of the cloud in a straight line, then white to do the upper part of the cloud in rounded shapes.

Simple yet effective, this method of painting clouds is easy to masterSimple yet effective, this method of painting clouds is easy to master

This makes it look as though it's got a shadow underneath it, and is hit by the sunlight on the top, just like real clouds. 

Really look at clouds next time you see them - they're not just flat 2 dimensional blobs.  The darker shadows are what makes them appear to be in three dimensions.

The finished signs for the Carsen Andrew Memorial GardenThe finished signs for the Carsen Andrew Memorial Garden

Gradually, the center of the cloud shape is filled in, with either more of the poncing technique, or with swirls of the brush. 

It's important not to get too carried away with being perfect with this; clouds, after all, are not static; they're constantly changing.

Check out this quick video:

At the end, the grey or silver is again used to outline the shape a bit, to make it look more in perspective.  And that's it.  Your lovely puffy clouds will make a unique decoration on signs and doors.

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