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How to Create Drawing Clouds in Pencil

What Kind of Clouds Will do You Make?

Drawing clouds appears like an effortless task, and it is. However, when you’re looking to make a great sketch in pencil, you must pay attention to the delicate details. This training will lead you into the process step by step and give you the tips needed to create eye-catching clouds on paper.

Perhaps the most challenging part of drawing clouds in pencil is the lack of color. We use simple graphite pencils (this works with charcoal well), so shading is essential. You need to pay more attention to highlights and shadows to bring out your clouds on the page, so let’s get started.

Choosing the Right Clouds to Draw

The initial step in drawing clouds is to determine the right subject.

  • The deep blue sky will give you great contrast at work.
  • When observing the sky, a viewfinder will help you reduce the scene to a sustainable size and block out any clutter.
  • The photos are helpful because the atmosphere changes quickly.

Carefully observe the values in your sky, check the highlights in the whitest clouds, and note the shadows under the clouds. Where do you see the crisp, precise edges and where the boundaries are soft and matte?

The example we are working on has a mix of soft cumulus clouds and pleasant cirrus clouds. Good practice for both types and the same method can obtain for other cloud formations.

Blocking Clouds

For similar subject clouds, the selection you make for the paper will significantly affect the look of the drawing ideas. A complex pressed watercolor paper has the visible grain shown in the example. For a smoother surface, choose a softer composition, such as Stonehenge.

Start by Blocking

  • We start by boldly shading the darkest blue areas with a 2B pencil.
  • The whitest cloud regions are maintained (kept white by paper), with sky shading brought to the edges.
  • The cirrus cloud regions will be softer have a colored surface because the cloud is raised with an eraser.
  • Building Darks and Lifting Lights
  • Shading with a sharp B pencil generates value in the darker areas of the drawing.
  • Carefully touch the ends up to the edges of the prominent areas of the highlights.
  • The shadows in the clouds are colored, so a small eraser is used to soften the edges.
  • Once the values are correctly established, use the sweeps of a little clean eraser to lift the clouds of smooth cirrus.

Clarifying Details

Eraser markers usually have a soft edge, which you can sharpen by redrawing nearby dark values with a sharp pencil. You can also use a short corner of a plastic eraser to ‘draw’ white lines if the graphite layer is not too thick.

This sketch uses healthy shading to preserve a sense of strength in the drawing. You can produce a smoother, more practical surface by shading smoother (use a slightly harder pencil-like B and 3B) on a softer paper. It also needs an excellent opportunity for more patience and attention to detail.

You can create a more dramatic surface by experimenting with robust directional shading or hatching with strong contrasts. Try using stencil threaded paper to keep white areas clear when using strong, hard marks.

Source: Posting Pole

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