Carefree Clouds: Cloud Painting in Watercolor | Kelly Johnson | Skillshare

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Carefree Clouds: Cloud Painting in Watercolor

teacher avatar Kelly Johnson, Connecting humans and nature, creatively!

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Carefree Clouds Intro Trailer


    • 2.

      Carefree Clouds Welcome


    • 3.

      Carefree Clouds Storm Clouds 1


    • 4.

      Carefree Clouds Storm Clouds 2


    • 5.

      Carefree Clouds Sunset Clouds 3


    • 6.

      Carefree Clouds Sunset Cloud 4


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About This Class


In this class you'll learn to paint 2 versions of a fun, easy, go to style of cumulonimbus clouds using the wet on wet technique.

Use this style cloud as an image in your nature journal, in a landscape painting, as a background for a quote, or anywhere poofy piled up clouds would add the perfect nature inspired touch!

Meet Your Teacher

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Kelly Johnson

Connecting humans and nature, creatively!


I'm your guide into nature inspired drawing and painting, Kelly Johnson!

If you drop by my world on an average day you might find me gardening, making art, snowboarding, surfing, vegan baking, traveling, or helping humans build deep relationships with nature through art and organic gardening!

I have a BFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design, an MA in environmental studies from Goddard College, an AMS 6-9 teaching credential & 10 years in the classroom, + 20 years experience teaching art & 11 years teaching nature-study to children and adults in a wide variety of settings.

I've painted everything from huge murals in Mexico to tiny paintings in Virginia to tropical plants in Florida to veggies in Europe and I love how art builds community and connections in e... See full profile

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1. Carefree Clouds Intro Trailer: Hello. Welcome to the world of wings, worms and wonder. I'm Kelly Johnson, your Creative Nature Connection guide in this skill share class carefree clouds. I'll guide you through painting my favorite go to style of Cloud in watercolor pain. I love clouds and how they're always changing. And I think this is what makes them so fun to paint but can also be what makes them intimidating. So in this class, I'll show you a fun and easy way to paint. A cloud will paint two versions of these go to clouds, a stormy version and a sunset version, and play without lines and highlights to add interest. All you need to create the project is watercolor paper, watercolor paint brushes, water, paper towels, couple of pens and a patch of sky. I hope you'll join the fund and be sure to post pictures of your cloud painting projects in the gallery below. I can't wait to see your clowns 2. Carefree Clouds Welcome: Hello. Welcome to the world of wings, Worms and wonder. I'm Kelly Johnson, your Creative Nature Connection guide. And in this short, fun video, we're gonna look at painting Cloud. This is a question that I've been asked by a lot of different people. How you paint clouds. That is a more complicated question. Then maybe a quick answer, But I'm gonna show you how I paint my go to clouds now. Painting clouds and murals, painting clouds in general clouds air incredibly elusive because they're not tangible. They're always changing with the wind, always responding to the light and how that's changing reflected colors and shadows and density. So clouds are kind of crazy. And sometimes if you paint clouds the way they actually look, someone would be like, What is that? That's not a cloud. So clouds air cool. And the one thing that I can stress the most when painting clouds or exploring the world of painting clouds is whenever you're outside, look up, make a mental note what the clouds doing right now, what the clouds look like. And look at how maybe there flat on the bottom or how there piling up how fluffy your mother Wind Lunar Streeter All the different types of clouds from Cumulus admits to serious stratus clouds on a low grade day. All kinds of cumulus puffball clouds that we think of the clubs that I like to paint are the cumulonimbus because they kind of build up and look fun. Those were my go to clouds, and that's what we're gonna work on here today. Two versions. But all kinds of clouds are really wonderful and really interesting and just looking at them, taking time, different times of the day in different environments. When you're walking through a parking lot, look up. Make a mental note of the clouds when you go out to get the mail, make a note of the clouds, but take a minute, take a deep breath and really look at the clouds. Really look at them as not just clouds but as shapes and shadows and forms responding to the light. So with that in mind as your little nature study listening for nature's whispers homework, let's get started painting my fun. Go to clouds 3. Carefree Clouds Storm Clouds 1: Hello. Welcome to the world of wings, Worms and Wonder Kelly Johnson. Your creative nature connection died. And this is our stormy cloud painting video in the carefree clouds tutorial on skill share . So for this project, what we're gonna do, you have your supplies, you have your paper and your paints. We're gonna paint. As I said in the intro, my favorite Just fun go to cumulonimbus clouds. I like them cause they're big and they're puffy and they're just fun to paint. I think so. There's a couple of ways you can go about it. You can start by doing a pencil outline, or you can just go straight to paint. In this case, we're going to start with a pencil out. Lauren. So I like to start with the poofy ends, um, and just sort of draw it out. And if if you start watching clouds, you'll see that they have flat bottoms when they're in the distance, and that's how I like to draw these clouds. And then we do another one in the back for death, and that's about it for the go to clouds next shape anyway. And you say I was very loose and I've done this a lot because these are my go to clouds. So you may want to take a little slower time or, you know, spend the time like when you start the project below, you'll see it starts with going out and looking at clouds, looking at the top perimeter of clouds and the shapes they make in the ways they pile up and make yours according to clouds that you like. Then I'm going to start with water, and I'm just gonna fill in my front cloud shape with water because we'll be using the wet on wet technique for doing these clouds. I'm just filling in and I'm not being super precise like I'm not making sure like every ounce is covered in water, not worried about it that much. Next, I'm gonna start with some blue paint. I'm using pressure in blue. I was gonna start putting it in around the top edge, letting the paint do the work filling in here just sort of dabbing paid, you know, making poopie cloud shapes. Just take some water and added in, you know, maybe some places it seem a little too white, and then I'm gonna take some black but a mixing the black with my pressure in blue to make a darker blue And I'm not gonna be very precise about this. I'm just gonna Maybe some dabs or more black and some are more blue Just gonna mix these darks in with the blues Just keeping it loose, keeping it fun, keeping it carefree. We'll say, if I see something pooling you know, maybe go back and address that or if this looks a little washed out, maybe we'll add some more paint to that area, see how it blends. You want to add a little more black? See, Now, if you get a little streak like that, just take your wet brush and dab it out. I want some white in there for some highlights. So I'm leaving these spots and we can go back after this drives a little bit and I'm gonna dab and I see that's a little bit too harsh of a line for my taste. So I'm gonna soften it a little bit. Then I'm gonna take were paint here, you know, just working in and around the thing with watercolor, right? You're just working in and around your painting now this'll cloud. I want to let dry do little water there, see what happens and I'm gonna turn my paper around and I'm going to start with my second cloud. And the reason I'm turning it around is because it's just a little bit easier. I'm gonna leave a space of dry paper in between these two clouds. I'm not going to take the water right up to the edge, because if I did that in the wet on wet technique, the paint would bleed right in and it may bleed in as we paint. But right now I want to keep a little highlight there and then taking the water up to the perimeter of the cloud and going around the same basic idea. And if you don't like to paint upside down, you can turn your paper back. Well, then, mixing your black and often I don't often use black in my paintings. But when I do these stormy clouds, I do use black. I live at the beach, so I get to see these clouds a lot, or at least often in the summer time. Okay, Now, as this but that one dry come in Have this a little bit and then come back in with some darks again, working around your painting. See this sort of blended together. So I'm gonna go again and add some definition just more saturated paint, working around, working through it and however looks good to you, keeping it loose. Now I'm gonna let this dry a little bit. And the thing about these clouds doing them low over the stormy horizon like this, you can use it as a sort of horizon line. You can take some paint water, then with some paint of the same. You know, when you can ad a little depth, you can. This is all optional, you know, at a little bit in the background, like whether it's sky or more clouds in the distance and keeping this quite faint, you know, can add depth. You can have perspective. You could, you know, a little more here. It was kind of what it looks like in the ocean. Sometimes however you like, or you don't have to add anything into discuss. And if you add some and you don't like it, just blot it a little bit, make it more faith. They're looking at these. I want to make him a little more ominous. So I'm gonna add some more black through this front one. Maybe a little. Here, maybe a little touch. Okay. Soften it anywhere you think. And I'm I like the way this looks. You had a little depth there. There. Me? It's from this back here a little bit. But then add a little gray. I think we're pretty much there. See how fun it gets. Too dark. Just add more water. See how fun and carefree even a stormy cloud can be. But this is my fun. Go to clouds. So we're gonna let thes clouds dry and they could be done. They could be totally complete. But there's a couple of little embellishments and highlights that you can do as well. And that will be the next video. So go ahead. Click. Start your project below. Do your carefree, stormy clouds Post a picture in the, um, feed below. I can't wait to see how your clouds come out. What? You know, we all live in different parts of the world, so the clouds look different. They may. Your stormy clouds may have a little green in them. They may be more gray unless blue, you know, at the ocean. So the ocean reflects up into the clouds a lot. Um, so, yeah, I just can't wait to see what your carefree clouds look clich? That Maybe they're more white and the sky is more blue in the background. Um, so, yeah, it's as varied as the wonders of nature can be. So have fun with it. Stay loose with it, and I can't wait to see what you make and then go on to the next video toe, add some details and then continue on to the sunset clouds enjoy by 4. Carefree Clouds Storm Clouds 2: once here clouds air. All try. Um, you can leave them. And this this could be very easily done. I would be happy with this to be done. Um, or there's a couple of other fun things you can dio. One is. You can add outlines. I would choose. You can go with black or you can do a dark blue dark purple or gray. I'm gonna go with gray here in this case, uh, and then and you can even do you know, two different colors. Maybe we'll end up using some blues. Sort of do line here and sort of outline. Doesn't have to be exact. Be like miss registered a little bit. Do the same here. Now, when you outline these, remember to leave the highlight. You're going around, Theo actual bottom side of this other cloud and then come in on the bottom. This bottom doesn't have to be like a totally firm straight line. Okay? And then you can sort of look at the shapes that the paint has made and sort of follow those and add the puffs and poofs like the inner part of the cloud for details. If you like, I gonna stick with old gray in this case. Move. Spar low this line, some of them connect some don't you know, we highlight the way. Maybe some going here. Um, you know, however, just keep it loose, keep it Koofi, and that could be done. Or if you want to get fancy or shiny. Maybe if it's like post storm clouds, you could use a little bit of silver quashed and water it down, of course. And, you know, pop some highlights in to these areas. No, keep your highlights. Koofi maybe goes over the white a little bit. It's kind of fun. And when it drives, it will just be a little metallic and shiny, which is always fun. Now, the great pen I used is not permanent, so I need to be careful that I don't smear that, Um, and maybe you want a few in the background? Maybe not. So that one sets back. I'm gonna do a little more water down in the background, except for, you know, here because it's not really so far back there and just like with watercolor, water it down, dab it off a little bit if you want, I need to smear it. Maybe you wanna had some shimmers down here. It's whatever. And, uh Well, uh, clouds soften it down as Dr blended out, and then we go some fun. Easy, go to clouds. And I hope this helped inspire your attention to clouds and, um, inspired you to play with clouds a little bit. So enjoy. Oh, if you want Teoh, make it sunset clouds, Um will do another video on that so you can watch the other video. But this is a perfect simple to color go to cloud, so enjoy. And I'll see you in the sunset video if you choose to be there by 5. Carefree Clouds Sunset Clouds 3: Welcome back to the Sunset Cloud Video. Sunset clouds are basically the same as in, you know, form as the my regular Go to clouds. Only you add pink and warm highlights. So I'm gonna go No drawing this time. Just throw some water down. Same shaped clouds I'm going with this time, okay? And I'm gonna start with blue again because blue is reflecting the atmosphere. And a lot of times the shadows and clouds are blue and just paint them like we would. I'm gonna add a little purple into this cloud because we're getting warm, right? Giving some warm, warmer tones in there. There's that purple showing up some makesem gray. Okay, I'm not gonna have is much black in this club. Washington. Now I'm gonna bring in Peak. And so, Marge, now remember, blue and orange are what compliment colors. So that's to read. So we have to be careful with that. So that orange came in a little too strongly. Yellow came in a little too strong. We just want hints of the reflection. Now you choose. I'm going. I'm gonna pretend we have more pink sunset here. Um but maybe you want to go with more of an orange since it yellow's, you know that you don't want your clouds to turn green unless you're painting a tornado. So you just keep in mind your color theory and just mix in colors. Now, when it takes some pink three foot date but in the sky it's gonna be more rich. And here I could bring in more than the yellow in the arch. Sometimes this could get you could make It's very intense. You wanted Teoh. Now we're gonna go to our second cloud and remember, remember, you have to leave a little gap. This one's gonna be smaller further in the distance. So leaving that little gap so the water doesn't touch, We have our highlight. Okay? Taking more of a washout blue. I want this one to be more in the distance and then more pink since it's gonna be a war wash here, okay? And then I'm gonna do get more water turns upside down so I don't drip on my clouds on my table some bright pink in the sky. Careful not to let it mix. Just let it fade down. This is what all that pink is reflecting from here, you could add some orange. We have no blue at the top in our skies. Guy, turn it right side up. See how it's coming along. Like what we don't like. Have some streaks of bold, nice bright sunset and then see this turned a little two. Purple brings more pink in. We'll do pink just moving it around the pink blue blue. You have a little bit. Let's bring in some bolder colors here for their second layer from doing just like Koofi marks. Working quickly responding to the witness of the page. A little more blue here shadow little more pink. It's a lot of pink, but it's OK because up at the top here very well could be reflecting all that to what depths anywhere. It's too saturated. Just add water blended out. Maybe here there's some to got our lights. Darks any more purple Here, I just work your way around and then let it dry and we'll see what we think. It needs. Another layer 6. Carefree Clouds Sunset Cloud 4: clouds are pretty much dry here. There's slightly damp. Somebody go back in and I think they would look pretty good. Um, gonna add just a little bit of dark. Um See, But here, See, this is on the kind of the back side, so maybe some poops over here. I don't want to blue, So I am adding a little bit of black and since, like, a second layer. Okay, Daniel, I don't wash him out a little bit. Just want the impression of them. I don't want hugely detailed coops because I want that pink toe be shining through, but I like the outlines of a little bit to add depth. And then here, um, just a little bit. It doesn't get to see actually here along the edge, a little bit of darks and then decided to add a little more purple into the sky, but just isn't to tie this crowd in a little bit. An amusing purple. Not it's a little too dry. He's in purple, not blue for that. Okay, maybe a little bit more dark here. Now, I'm not super dark like before, because this one's further in the distance and I could decide at this point to maybe bring this even closer. And that could even give the impression of, like, another cloud piled up even further in the distance. Uh, so, you know, play with it a little bit. This is just a little bit boring. Maybe some pink. See what that does. And I'm gonna add a couple more pops here. Maybe. Yes. I want to get these streaks down here, and I think that will be it for this sense. It now you could do a sunset cloud that didn't have any blue in it. Sometimes, if you start watching sunset clouds, you'll notice some of them are just fiery orange and pink. But getting once the sun starts going down some you get more of the of the blue in the clouds because they're in the shadow. So in this, I'm gonna go ahead and add, um, outlines just to my front cloud, but very loosely. And I'm doing it in purple when it comes around, remember, over the highlight. Okay. And this one, I even like the idea that perhaps there's another one in front of it. The way these sort of came out. Okay, maybe just a little bit here, Fiddle says. We're looking good here. A couple hints still wet for this pen. We'll leave it at that, only a little bit here. I always think I'm done when I add a little bit more like just a little bit. And there you have sunset clouds. Just add pink. So enjoy this. Just one version of one type of cloud that I think is fun and facts to paint. So enjoy playing with it and practicing it and hopefully observing clouds and developing your own fun, go to style, build on this, take it, run with it and have fun Bye.