How to paint clouds
There are many ways to paint clouds. Through the years, by trial and error and by studying the great masters of the past, I found my way. I use an age old technique called layering or glazing. The basic idea is to paint transparent layers of paint on top of each other. The bottom layers will shine through the top layers and this produces an effect that you don’t get when painting wet on wet, or ‘alla prima’.
I will paint the first layer of the clouds in a mid tone. Once it’s dry it will allow me to paint the sunlit parts of the cloud on top of it, as well as the shadows. The mid tone I want is a colored grey. There are different ways of mixing a colored grey, but I often use Violet Blue and Naples Yellow. On top of this layer I will paint contrasting shadows and highlights, only to tone them down in a final layer.