Time Required :
Over an hour
Intermediate
Intermediate
You're somewhat experienced with the skills necessary to complete this project, but you haven't mastered all the elements, yet.

cloud painting

A soothing cloud scene adds an airy feel to your home decor.
Step 1
Project Notes: This project will teach you how to paint clouds using a simple method of creating repetitive mushroom shape outlines and learning how to layer the "puffs." The goal is also to help you find your own painting style. You will also experiment with color mixing. Mix your colors to create shades that inspire you.
 
Prep your work area. Set your canvas vertically on your easel and adjust the height as needed to suit your needs. Some prefer to sit at their easel while others choose to stand. Some even prefer to sit on the floor and paint. Choose the method that is most comfortable for you. If you sit on the floor, place a protective drop cloth underneath you and the painting to protect your floors. Place a small table next to you with your water container, spray bottle, paint palette and tubes of paint.
 
Tip: If you choose to sit at your easel, be sure to use a chair with a sturdy back for support. 
Step 2
Squeeze a large amount of Cerulean Blue Hue onto your palette. Dip the tip of a large flat brush into the water to wet and load the paint onto the brush. The larger the brush, the less time it will take to cover your canvas.  
Step 3
Paint the entire canvas with Cerulean Blue Hue for the sky. Do not forget to paint the sides of your canvas. Set aside to dry.  
Step 4
When the canvas is dry to the touch, you can begin painting your clouds. Squeeze a large amount of White Titanium onto your paint palette. You will use a large angled brush to paint the clouds. Dip the tip of your angled brush into the water to wet and load the tip with White Titanium paint.
 
Tip: Keep your brush tip moist with water before you load with paint. A small amount of water helps to keep your paint moist and the paint goes on the canvas more smoothly. If your paint starts to dry too fast it becomes harder to blend the colors on the canvas. Keep your paint moist by periodically lightly spraying the palette with water using the spray bottle. 
Step 5
An easy way to paint clouds is to start with a mushroom top outline. Using the tip of your angled brush, lightly draw a large mushroom shape in the top right hand corner of your canvas. Rather than starting your clouds in the center of your canvas, start at the top corner and work your way from top to bottom. For best results, paint in small sections as you go along, painting the top portion of your canvas first, then the middle, followed by the bottom portion last.  
Step 6
Once you have the large outline, add a smaller mushroom shape at the bottom of the large outline. The layering of similar shapes is what gives your clouds a more realistic look. Start to fill in the large cloud using your angled brush with White Titanium paint. You do not want the paint dripping from the brush tip. If you are dripping paint, you have too much loaded. Dab excess paint onto a paper towel as needed. To fill in your cloud shape, dab the angled brush tip along the mushroom shape outline. Continue following the outline, working towards the center of the cloud, dabbing the tip of the brush onto the canvas. The dabbing motion creates uneven "puffs" of paint, giving the cloud a more realistic look.
 
Note: A cloud is essentially a cluster of similarly shaped "puffs" or dabs of paint. If you use the same method of painting the puffs by dabbing the paint with your angled tip, you will achieve the best results.
 
Tip: Use project image as a guide for arrangement of clouds on your canvas. 
Step 7
Use the same dabbing method for the smaller cloud shape. As you go along, your clouds will start to take shape. You want your clouds to have uneven edges and an irregular shape.  
Step 8
Use your fan brush to blur or feather some of the edges of the cloud to give a more transparent or atmospheric look. For best results, wait until the paint is semi-dry before attempting to blur or feather. Do not blur all of the cloud edges, as you want a blend of both hard and blurred edges.  
Step 9
Mix a small amount of White Titanium and Light Blue Violet on your palette using a small 1" flat brush or a palette knife. Be sure to wet your brush tip before mixing. You should have a violet shade that you will use to create a shadow color for your clouds. This will give a three-dimensional effect to your clouds.  
Step 10
Using the same dabbing method, dab the violet color lightly onto the cloud to create a shadow around the edges and along the bottom of the cloud. Follow along the cloud edge about a 1/2" inch in. Dab the shadow color in random areas along the edge. Do not add too much shadow. You are not filling in the cloud with the shadow, just using it as a way to create dimension. Continue to add small amounts of shadow as needed.   
Step 11
If needed, add more White Titanium in areas as needed for a bright white highlight. The balance of white and shadow will give your clouds a 3D effect. 
Step 12
Repeat the above steps, creating mushroom shape outlines for your clouds, working your way to the bottom of the canvas. Remember to layer large and small outlines on top of one another to add variation to your clouds, as clouds are essentially clusters of similarly shaped "puffs" or dabs of paint. Use your fan brush to randomly blur some of the edges of the clouds when your paint is semi-dry.
 
Tip: If your paint is drying out too fast, even after mixing with water, you can mix a small amount of Matte Medium to your paint. Matte Medium will help to keep your paint wet longer. 
Step 13
Use Light Blue Permanent paint to add a highlight to your sky once you've painted all of your clouds. Use sparingly with a small flat brush to add dimension. Try mixing Light Blue Permanent with Cerulean Blue for another highlight color option for your sky. 
 
Tip: Use your water bottle to lightly spray the paint on your palette periodically to keep it moist.  
Step 14
Share your project photos with #MadeWithMichaels 
Materials

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You’ll Also Need
  • Water Container
  • Spray Bottle, with Water
  • Paper Towels (Wet and Dry)
  • Easel
  • Craft Smart® Premium Flat Brush, Large (sku 10434081)
  • Craft Smart® Premium Angle Brush, Large (sku 10434086)
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