Watercolor Skies Lesson - Blue Realistic Skies With Birds And Light Fluffy Clouds.

Art lessons on Video; beginner through advanced tips and technique on how to paint with watercolor.

This lesson is about how to paint realistic skies with watercolor.


Landscape painters need good skies. Skies are rarely the subject of a landscape, but it is definitely the curtain at the back of the stage; a critical element in the design.


Few people realize how important sky color is to their own emotional state. Gray days are just that. Sunny days have sharp shadows. These shadows are filled with light, but obviously not sunlight Landscape shadows are suffused with sky light, and sky light is blue. Often, when a painting makes feel good we are responding to crisp, blue shadows.


Clouds are incredibly important in a landscape, or seascape. They break up the sky space. They tell us about the weather. They can be hard or soft, dark or light, and come in an infinite variety of shapes and colors.


I use this lesson as an opportunity to introduce white paint into my lessons. White comes in very modern, titanium white, and very classic, white gouache, which is a watercolor made with chalk. This lesson covers how to use gouache. More importantly, it covers how not to use gouache.


We use our painted sky to create a complete wet in wet painting of a marsh. Then, when all is dry we cover up some blemishes with birds, and we learn how to make them appear close or distant.



Watercolor palette showing a warm and cool paint for each of the primary colors This is a map of the captains color palette.
See materials list below...

The map shows the location of each of the paints. The group on the left are the sedimentary colors. Those in the right are the non sedimentary colors. The palette is just a cut down ice cube tray

Burnt Sienna
0 - Red
Yellow Ochre
1 - Yellow
2 - Green
Cerulean Blue
3 - Blue
  ...( non sed. )
Phthalo Blue
4 - Cool Blue
Ultramarine Blue
5 - Warm Blue
Pyrrol Red
6 - Warm Red
Info Alizarin Crimson
( Quinacridone )

7 - Cool Red
Arylide Yellow FGL
8 - Warm Yellow
Arylide Yellow Deep
9 - Cool Yellow

140 Lb. Cold Pressed
140 Lb. Cold Pressed

The warmest color is orange

The coolest color is middle-blue

A warm red would be like a tomato (orangy)

A cool red Is like a strawbery (purpleish)

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