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How To Paint A Night Sky With Billowy Clouds

How To Paint A Night Sky With Billowy Clouds

Who doesn’t love looking up at the night sky? Better yet, capturing its beauty on paper and transporting yourself into another world.

Hi!  Vanessa Lesniak from @Vanessa_Paints here.  Today I will be showing you a quick and easy way to paint a night sky with billowy clouds using only two colors! It's almost like magic...






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Step 1: Paint the Background

With a brush of your choice, use a dark blue color (I use Indigo) and lay a wash of this color over your entire paper.  Repeat the process while the paper is still wet until you reach your desired shade of dark blue.  Let the background completely dry before moving on to the next step.




Step 2: Add Clouds

In a separate mixing palette, add any white medium of your choice (I use Copic Opaque White) with a drop or two of your background color.  You should have a nice greyish blue color.  



Begin laying down the rough shapes of your cloud with this color.  Block out the entire rea where your clouds will be positioned.




Step 3: Add Depth to Your Clouds

While the clouds are still wet, add more white to your palette to lighten up the color.  Begin adding this lighter mixture to your initial base of clouds in order to give them more depth.  



Every so often, add a touch of your pure dark blue to add contrast.




Step 4: Make Clouds Billowy

Using pure white, Add small sections to your clouds.  Soften the edges by going back with a clea damp brush and running it along the bottom edges.




Step 5: Add Highlights to Your Clouds

Using pure white and a small liner brush, add very thin highlights to the edges of some clouds. 




Step 6: Paint the Moon

Draw a crescent Moon using a circular object, or, if you’re braver than me, just wing it!  Outline the moon with white and blend the edges in with a clean, damp brush.  Add more white to the inner edges of the moon if you want a bigger part of the crescent to show through.




Step 7: Deepen the Sky (optional)

Go back to your original background color an begin painting the background to deepen it.  If you are satisfied with your background, skip this step and move on to the next.  Carefully go around the clouds and the outer part of the moon.  When you get to the opening of the moon, use plane water to blend in the white and blue of the background.




Step 8: Add the Stars

With your liner brush and pure white, load the brush with a ton of white and splatter it on the sky!  



Voila!  Done!  I hope you enjoyed this one and I’ll see you with another tutorial soon. Why not catch up on my other celestial tutorials in the meantime?

Vanessa spent 16 years as a social worker and originally began experimenting with watercolor as a form of self care and it became a profound passion.  With the encouragement and support of her wife and 3 daughters, she became a full time artist and small business owner.  She now shares her passion through workshops and online tutorials. Check out more of Vanessa's tutorials on the blog!


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