In this quick tutorial and video, architectural illustrator Randy Hunter shows you how to make the realistic clouds you've been looking to add to your own art.
When I create any landscape or architectural drawing, and I think this goes for a lot of artists, the sky always tends to be the last thing drawn or colored. It seems to be an afterthought because the important “stuff” is the big oak tree or the old farmhouse. The sky will take care of itself.
What I always ended up with was a decent piece of art, but the sky just didn’t fit in. The clouds looked fake or “cartoony” when what I was looking for was something more subtle and realistic. I realized that I had never practiced, or even considered, drawing clouds. And I don’t just mean a bubbly “clip art” cloud. Clouds are very diverse, and there are countless ways to portray them. My goal is to show you how I approach creating realistic looking clouds and skies in a few different ways that you can then apply to your landscape or architectural drawings.
I am going to start by creating those same white puffy clouds we’ve been scribbling on paper since kindergarten and approach them with a little more realism.
The Tools of the Trade
The image here shows all of the Copic colors I used for the clouds. I used the Copic Marker Sketchbook for the paper.
With markers in hand, let's make white clouds in a blue sky.
Below is a video I put together to show you exactly how I created my clouds. A couple of things to keep in mind: Most of the time, the canvas for our artwork is white. Therefore, half of the work has already been finished for you. The clouds are white and the canvas is white. So in reality, you will be drawing and coloring the shadows of the clouds and not the actual clouds themselves.
Secondly, do not concern yourself with perfection. You can’t mess up a cloud. Clouds are constantly messing themselves up as they float across the sky. Be free with your Copic Sketch Super Brush and “feel” the clouds as you go along.