How to Draw Realistic Clouds Step by Step

How to Draw Realistic Clouds easy with this how-to video and step-by-step drawing instructions. Pencil drawing tutorials for beginners and everyone.

How to Draw Realistic Clouds

Please see the drawing tutorial in the video below

Video produced by channel:  Toby Carr Fine Art

Today we’re going to be learning how to draw realistic clouds. If you follow Draw Central, you might remember that I did this tutorial a couple years back. This time, however, I’ll be showing you how to draw clouds digitally. Don’t worry if you’re using a pencil, colored pencil, or even paint—these tips will help you no matter what medium you’re using to draw clouds. Let’s get started!

You can refer to the simple step-by-step drawing guide below

Step 1: Choose a background color

To start, we’ll need a canvas color to make our white clouds stand out against the background.

Tip: If you’re drawing with a pencil or crayon, try drawing on darker-tone paper and use a white pencil to mark. The additional contrast from the white pencil on the dark paper will really make your clouds (or any drawing) pop.

Step 2: Make an outline

Next, we need to map out the basic shape and position of your clouds. For most types of clouds, they are usually flatter at the bottom and rounder at the top. Of course, this is not always the case. So decide what kind of cloud you will use before giving your outline. I’ve attached some reference photos so you can get an idea of ​​the different shapes of clouds that exist.

Step 3: Base color

Give your clouds a base color that will act as the darkest values ​​in your clouds. I know that we often imagine clouds as completely white, but if you look at the reference images you will really see that they also have a lot of shadows.

Step 4: Mark the edges

Clouds interact with light in the same way as any other object, so you need to add light and shadow the same way you would with any other object. Choose where your light source is coming from (in my case coming from the right) and add a bright white highlight along those edges.

Step 5: Blend the Highlights

Now that you know which areas of your cloud will be highlighted, we will now need to blend those highlights towards the darker areas to give our cloud some count. Once you’ve blended the highlights, you can add a thin white border around the highlighted edges to keep them sharp.

Step 6: Last Touches

At this point, your clouds are almost done. All that’s left to do is clean up your contours and make sure that the outlines of your clouds are clean and sharp. You can also add a little white to the background to give the image an airy feel.

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