About my E-books

E-Book: Learning the Basics in Watercolor

E-Book: Painting on Watercolor Canvas

E-Book: Painting Flowers in Watercolor


Paintings and Prints of:

Acrylic Paintings



Cape Cod



Florals/Still Lifes


Greece/ Turkey


Hilton Head



Monet's Garden


Naples, FL

Niagara on the Lake

Pensacola Beach


Rural Landscapes


San Miguel MX


Sparrow Village/
South Africa

Steamboat Springs, CO



Venice, Italy

Watercolor onCanvas
All about Watercolor Paper

on R-tistx Board & Claybord®

How to Paint Crystal and Lace

Painting with Color!

How to Paint Clouds

How to Paint Water Reflections

Page of Links

How to Paint Clouds in Watercolor


I have stood in my driveway in the spring when the winds are blowing and tried to paint clouds as they pass by. It is an exercise in frustration, but nevertheless, a great exercise. Clouds change with the wind, so who is to say what they look like? We see shapes in clouds. Have you ever said, “There’s a bear, or a kitten, or a bird in the clouds?” They are amazing reminders of what we have seen on earth, yet so fleeting.

When painting them, however, they need to have shapes that really don’t remind us of earthly things lest they seem trite. Cumulus clouds are puffy, remarkable things. They rise up into the sky with tremendous volume, yet remain fairly flat on the bottom. When we are look straight up at them we don’t see the flatness. I am not sure why they seem so flat because they are holding moisture. It would seem that they should be like a paper bag full of water! But if you look at the sky when it is full of cumulus clouds, you will see the bottoms of them as they float off into the distance, and they will be fairly horizontal stripes in the sky, with the volume rising into the air.

For videos about painting clouds, go to my Youtube channel:


In these videos, I show how to go about painting them. Without pre-wetting the paper, I load my wash brush (a Hake) with lots of water and Quinacridone gold, and paint the sky around the top of the clouds. Then I add my pink color (Opera) to diffuse the color. I continue adding those colors throughout the painting (avoiding the tops of the clouds), as they will add a glow to the clouds and the sky.


For effect, I have added a water scene in the foreground rather than a  landscape. The color of the clouds will be reflected in the water. There will be light areas, as well as colorful ones.

When painting clouds remember to keep some of the edges soft, and others crisp. If they are all crisp, they will look as if they have been pasted on the paper. All soft edges will denote a windy situation, and that is worth another video at some time! There are many other types of clouds than Cumulus, and we would approach them in another way.




Send comments or questions about the artwork to art@maboysen.com
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