When you’re first starting out as an artist, there are a few basic shapes that you’ll want to practice getting right before you move on to more complicated pieces. 

Cartoon clouds are a great place to begin as you learn techniques like composition and shading. In this guide, we’ll show you how to draw clouds by hand and using digital tools, no matter what your skill level!

How to Draw Cartoon Clouds: 5 Tutorials to Learn From 

1. Art for Kids: How to Draw and Watercolor Paint a Rainbow and Cute Clouds

Skill Level: Beginner 

rainbow drawing
Cartoon clouds are the best place to start as a beginner artist.

Don’t be put off by the title of this class, as it’s a great option for adult beginners who are looking to start their artistic journey. In only 10 minutes, you’ll learn how to start drawing clouds that you can paint with watercolors or shade with crayons later on. Cartoon clouds like this are the simplest design that you can create before moving on to more realistic-looking clouds, so keep practicing until you feel ready for more advanced classes.

2. How to Paint Clouds in Procreate

Skill Level: Intermediate

sky drawing in procreate
Procreate is the perfect tool for beginners using technology to create art.

If you prefer to use digital tools to work on your clouds drawing, Procreate for the iPad is perfect for both new and experienced artists. In this 50-minute class, illustrator Krissy Ewins demonstrates how to create different types of clouds, from light and fluffy all the way up to cartoon storm clouds. You’ll learn how to balance different shades with Procreate’s brushes and palettes to create realistic cloud drawings, so this class is ideal for beginners who are comfortable with technology.

3. Learn Shape Builder Tool in Adobe Illustrator

Skill Level: Intermediate

circles and squares
Adobe Illustrator teaches you how to use basic shapes to create the final look you’re after.

If you’re feeling comfortable with using digital tools to create your clouds cartoon background, working with Adobe Illustrator is a good step up into using more intricate software. This class will teach you how to draw basic cartoon clouds but takes a slightly different approach to some of the other beginner-level classes. Instead of using a freehand design, you’ll learn how to break down a cloud into its fundamental shapes (in this case, circles and rectangles) and use Illustrator’s tools to create cartoon storm clouds.

4. Draw & Paint Clouds

Skill Level: Advanced

white pencil drawing
Monochrome drawings are a great next step for artists learning how to draw clouds.

For those of you with a little more drawing experience, this class with painter Sarah Burns is perfect for honing your skills in shading and contrast using only black and white pencils. These techniques may be challenging for beginners who are still in the early days of learning how to draw clouds, but if you’re looking to move away from the cartoon style, this is the class for you. Once you’re feeling confident about your cloud drawings, you can move on to the later stages of this class and try your hand at watercolor paint clouds too.

5. How to Animate Your Images: Clouds & Water

Skill Level: Advanced

photoshop animation
Use the stopwatch tool and drag your layers to create a looping cloud animation.

So you’ve mastered drawing clouds by hand and using digital software, but what about turning your pictures into short moving clips? If you’re feeling ambitious, this class will teach you how to create animations of clouds in the background of photos and static images. You’ll want to be at least somewhat familiar with Adobe Photoshop before jumping into this class, as you’ll be breaking your photo down into multiple layers before using the video timeline to create your animation. 

Where to Find Cartoon Cloud Images

sky with hook
Source: PIxabay
Find this cartoon clouds background on stock photo site Pixabay.

Drawing clouds on your own can take up a significant amount of time if you need to focus on other parts of your final piece. But there are plenty of resources out there for you to grab cloud backgrounds for free.

Stock photography websites like Shutterstock, Unsplash, Pixabay, and iStock photos are the best place to start if you’re looking for both real and cartoon clouds. Most of these sites will have both paid and free options, which is perfect for new artists to find plenty of different backgrounds to practice with.

If you’re after a more cartoon-looking style, peruse resources like Vectorstock and Clipart Library. You’ll find cartoon storm clouds, sunny clouds, and even clouds that look like their own characters, all ready for you to add to your own artwork and get creative!

Draw Clouds, Landscapes, Portraits, and More!

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Written by:

Holly Landis