How to Paint A Cloudy Sunset Sky

There are lots of different ways to paint all types of clouds. I like to paint wispy clouds in a cloudy sunset sky because they are simple, easy, and perfect for beginner painters! I often use this technique in my landscape paintings and am going to show you how I paint these feathery clouds to match my Paradise Beach painting!

The thing I love about painting skies is, no two are the same. Every time you look up at the sky, you see another one of Gods beautiful creations.

Before you start on a canvas, make sure to practice your clouds in a mixed media pad. Get used to the feel of the movements your hand is making. Painting takes practice. The more you mess around with it, the more you give yourself the freedom to play and not be so serious. Art is not about perfection; it’s about creating, having fun, and relaxing.

Making these brush strokes will do all that for you!

A few weeks ago, we learned the basics in blended acrylic paint and painted a sunset sky, but this a different type of blending that will give you a cloudy new outcome! Make sure to watch the full video painting tutorial below.

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Flat Paintbrush Cloudy Sunset Painting For Beginners The Social Easel Online Paint Studio

Use X shape brush strokes

With a Filbert or flat brush, start by messily making X strokes with bright blue and white paint to work across the top of the canvas. Unlike my heavily textured backgrounds, keep your brush bristles connected to the surface to create a smoother brushstroke blend. Start with quite a bit of paint on your brush, but then keep blending without reloading too often for a wispier feel.

How to Paint a Cloudy Sunset Painting For Beginners The Social Easel Online Paint Studio

Overlapping layers of varying colors

After I have the top quarter or so of my page painted, I blend in a lavender section, overlapping the blue edge, and continuing with the fast X strokes. There is no wrong way to do this! You want variations in the colors and layers.

Because I am painting a cool tone cloudy sunset, I add more pink and white as I get closer to the horizon. Some of the lines look feathery and others are very blended.

Create an organic composition

As you paint, look at your composition. You can make curves in your layer to create the shapes of clouds, just soften the edges as you play. Blend in white as your highlight color. These lighter tones will add to the dimension and make that area come forward.

Overlapping layers of deep and light colors will give you more contrast. If you want, highlight the top of some of your clouds and lightly blend down to create a more prominent shape or that sun peeking though look.

Blending a Cloudy Sunset Acrylic Painting For Beginners The Social Easel Online Paint Studio

Overlap Layers with Feathery Brushstrokes

This acrylic paint blending technique dries quickly because you aren’t using very much paint; this allows you to make that wispy look and overlap the layers quickly. You will start to see the clouds you’ve created come to life. Sometimes things look more intimidating than they are. You just have to try them out!

Cloudy Sunset Painting For Beginners The Social Easel Online Paint Studio

This is such a quick technique, and I challenge you all to try it. If you hate the outcome, so what! 

Fail Forward! Play and practice. You can’t grow as an artist unless you have failed and learned from it. Acrylic paint is so forgiving. All you have to do is walk away, let it dry, then paint right over the top of it! There is no such thing as perfect. Trust the process and keep moving forward.

Watch this short & sweet Video tutorial and practice along.

I hope this inspires you to try a new way of blending acrylic paint! You don’t have to paint a sunset. There are so many beautiful colors to use to create your very own cloudy sky.

Practice what you have learned and share in our free Facebook community!

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