Nature -> Clouds

That night, doesn’t happen often, it was him who was choosing the songs and then I asked if I could do as well. He said “ok, but just one song”.

HEH, it was Marillion-Ocean Cloud
Sweet 18 minutes, sweet ocean cloud.

Many times I have listened to it and I have never felt like the song is long, no. When I had to wait for long and couldn’t wait impatiently, I could have listened to it to lose the sense of time.

Hm, tutorial…

Were there classmates whom you tough about “Oh, draws clouds so well, like repeating arcs, I should try the same“. I try to recall those vanished memories from primary school, maybe I’ve lived such a thing.

Hmm, tutorial…

Clouds are the masses of liquid droplets or frozen crystals, and in drawing it is clusters some big some small which overlap and make shadows upon each other.

Here comes a drawing with charcoal. Papers ready? Yes?
So here we go…

cloud drawing 1.jpg

In the first frame -almost nothing is seen- even Photoshop couldn’t work, I drew the outline of left part of the cloud with a 4B charcoal pencil. You can see the enlarged image on the new tab that the outline has non compleated circles and ovals, cyclic lines; quite interesting shapes.
The second frame is the outline of the rest of the cloud. And also added a small piece on the left down.
You don’t have to draw just exactly the same shape; you can do it randomly, I just suggest to draw outline with little circular lines, the rest is up to you.
The forth step is spreading the dark parts. Where is closer to you? Which part has no light or shadowed by other cloud?

cloud drawing 2

In here I used blending tortillon to blend the dark parts; you can use your fingers or cotton swabs as well.
In the next steps I just added some more dark areas and blended until I like the result or the the tones I want.
Well, I didn’t like the striped look of the charcoal pencil, so I used charcoal pencil again in a circular motion to loose the straight lines, then blended them. That made the drawing more natural and realistic. Also blending is a good way to have some tones on the white left parts.

cloud drawing 3

Some clusters are on the foreground, so I drew some outlines partly on the left frame with black charcoal to seperate those clusters from background and give that depth effect.
Black clouds full of rain have strong contrasts. You can use pencil erasers for some whites, in thin lines; I used kneaded eraser which is a material like play dough that you can give it a shape and make some corners to delete.

Where to delete is about where the sunlight comes from; I assumed it is somewhere on the up and a little left.
On the second step I used white coal pencil to sharpen these white contrast parts.

charcoal cloud drawing

Just 2 charcoal pencils, a kneaded eraser and a blending tortillon; done!


The first frame you can see the way 0.4, 0.01 and 0.05 black pens are used. Well; in drawings closer parts to us are drawn thicker, darker and more detailed. So clouds which are closer the horizon line are thinner. Clouds which are closer to us are bigger, drawn thicker and located more on the top of the paper.

The 2nd frame; I added extra lines for showing how the overlaping of clouds causes shadows; I could hatch all of those places with short straight lines but I decided to use lines all the way in the direction of x axis.

I tried to make it as simple as possible and avoided details about clouds to catch the point about group of clouds. And about sea, they are just lines from left to right and right to left and they are not straight for a wavy look. On the last step I darkened some parts to show how those little waves are higher, partly.

clouds and sea drawing sp

Done! (it is the same with the last frame on the previous image, no addition)

I hope it wasn’t a totally dark tutorial. Here I have something more, bonus with colors:

sunset sp
Sunset with oil pastels

In the end of this pastel drawing I used my fingertips to blend colors a little bit.

It’d be wonderful to have a drink and watch a view of sunset, preferably under a palm tree and smell of sea, hmm (and some good food). Hope you are having this.

Happy sketching for everyone!
See ya!

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