Welcome to another Art Lab post. 🙂 Today I’ll be showing you how to paint some lovely watercolor clouds in candy-like colors, and at the end of the post I’ll announce which two artists we have selected to join our team!
But first, the art inspiration for today.
I took this picture a long time ago and was going to put it in an Etcetera post, but I thought, “Ooh, I want to draw this. I’m going to save it for Art Lab.” So I did. 🙂 Are you ready to recreate this picture?
You will need the following:
- watercolor (you could also use watered-down acrylic or gouache)
- a paintbrush, preferably a medium-sized round one and a larger flat one
- a canvas (I used my sketchbook, but this would make a great canvas or envelope!)
- clean water
- a paper towel
- a black pen, marker or Sharpie (you could use black paint instead)
You have all your supplies? Alright, let’s do this!
- For pieces where you’ll be painting the whole space, I like to put washi tape around the edges and peel it up at the end. It makes the piece look more finished and professional to have a white border. 🙂
- Start by sketching out several layers of clouds. The trick to making them look realistic is to be random: make big piles of clouds and small ones, tiny bumps and bigger curves.
- Erase your sketch until it’s barely visible. Outline the top layer of clouds with light blue watercolor.
- Paint in the rest of the space above that cloud layer. When you’re painting sky, make the top darker and then fade it lighter toward the horizon, since this is how it looks in real life. (I should have made the top darker but I didn’t. )
- Do the same with the clouds, but in reverse. Start with blue at the bottom of the page, and then gradually fade into purple and a light pink at the top of the clouds. It’s okay if it looks a bit messy right now, since we’ll paint over most of it later.
- Now start defining the layers. Just like we’ve been doing, start with dark at the top and fade to light by washing your brush out and using clean water to lighten the paint as you pull it downward.
- Keep adding more layers, changing from pink to purple to blue as you go down the page. Also add a few curvy lines inside the clouds like you did for their outlines, to make them more three dimensional.
- Looking good! Now we’ll add the telephone pole. Go for contrast: the soft, curvy clouds accentuate the bold, straight lines of the telephone pole. Sketch it out first if you want to, but press lightly! Then draw a long, narrow rectangle with a tiny mushroom shape on top, and a pin shape sticking through the pole a little ways down. Like so:
- Add the cables, referring to the picture. Pay attention to perspective and foreshortening: the lines to the left of the picture are closest to you, so they start wide apart and get closer as they head to the pole (which is farther away). Do the same with the second set of lines, but slant it toward the ground instead of toward the pole. I made the lines a little thicker to the left, but you don’t have to.
- Now for the birds! You can add just one, like in the picture, or a bunch all along the lines, but I did two. If you’re adding a bunch, remember to make the birds smaller the farther away (the more to the right of the picture) you get.
- Erase any sketch lines, sign your piece, and add any other finishing touches. Now for the fun part – carefully peel off the washi tape, and admire your work!
I think it turned out pretty, although my telephone lines could have been better. XD Oh well, art is never perfect – that’s part of the beauty of making something by hand! If you want something perfectly realistic, take a photo. But with art, you can make it into whatever you want, beyond the limits of what you can see through the viewfinder.
AND NOW. The new artists! Let me tell you, guys, this was a REALLY hard choice – we got several amazing entries! But we finally picked…
Amie and Danielle! Congratulations on joining our team, girls, and thank you SO much for being willing to do so! We’ll send you an email soon. I’m really looking forward to seeing your art!
Make sure and follow The Art Lab blog if you haven’t already, so you won’t miss a post from any of the five artists! Also, if you made a piece of art inspired by this tutorial, we’d love to see it! Click here to help us fill our gallery.
So. What did you think of the art? Do you prefer this soft color scheme or fiery sunset colors? Are you getting tired of watercolor tutorials yet? XD (If so, you’re in luck – we have new artists now!) Are telephone poles neat or ugly?
Thank you so much for reading, dears, and please have a lovely day. ❤