Landscape Painting Techniques – Learn How To Paint Clouds

One of the most challenging aspects of landscape painting is learning how to paint believable clouds. When you ask a beginner to paint a cloud, they will automatically reach for white, when in actuality, a cloud is not white. Clouds are made of water and reflect surrounding colors. This is most apparent during a sunrise or sunset when clouds turn various shades of red, orange, violet, etc.

There are many different types of clouds in nature. Everything from cirrus to altocumulus, so don’t assume you know what a cloud looks like and just start haphazardly painting. Spend some time outdoors really studying clouds and you will soon notice the many different types and colors of clouds . You should also consider the overall color scheme of your painting when deciding how to tackle the clouds. It is the relationship of colors in your painting that is most important.

Lastly, be sure to check out the resources below that I collected from various places online.  The following videos and articles are all demonstrations and tips on how to paint clouds.  You will quickly notice after watching these videos and reading these articles, that there are a variety of different techniques for painting clouds. There are no set rules.  So try one or all of the following techniques to figure out which one you are most comfortable with.  I have includedlessons on oil painting, watercolor and acrylic painting below. Please enjoy and happy painting!


Oil Painting

Bob Ross: Painting Clouds

Oil Painting Lesson – Wilson Bickford – Clouds

How to paint clouds the wet on wet way


How To Paint A Blue Sky With Clouds

Painting Watercolour Clouds

Watercolor Clouds – How to Paint a Breezy Sky

Cloud Painting Technique


Simple Clouds by Tim Gagnon

Acrylic Clouds

How to Paint a Sky Using Acrylics


How to Paint Realistic Clouds

Paint Clouds — Types of Clouds and How to Paint Them

Painting Clouds Wet-on-Wet Using Acrylic or Oil Paints

How to Paint Clouds and Trees

How Can I Paint Clouds?

Clouds with Color

Oil Pastel Classroom August 2004-Learning to Paint Clouds with Oil Pastels


  1. Anonymous says

    oh, that is helpful…I never would have thought about how clouds absorb light because they are made up of water particles. I would be more likely to think that a cloud will absorb less light because it is white, than it would if it was dark instead of thinking that what it absorbs determines its colour.

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