Creating Fluffy Clouds

Now it is time to do some serious cloud painting. In the brushes associated with this book are three brushes called Cloud, Cloud2, and Cloud3. You can use each of these custom brushes to paint nice fluffy clouds with some ease.

1. If the Brush tool is not currently active, select it by clicking on the Brush icon in the toolbox or pressing the B key. Pick the Cloud Variant in the Book Brushes brush category; the Brush Selector is in the upper-right corner of the Painter workspace. The Cloud Variant brush is a great cloud-painting brush. You'll do most of the painting in the clouds with it.

Note: When you paint, remember to use the shortcut keys to size and pick colors. Ctrl+Alt (Option+F on the Mac) resizes the brush interactively. Hold the keys down and drag in the painting window. A circle interactively changes size, indicating the size of your brush. When the size is what you want, release the keys. The Alt key (Option on the Mac) activates the Dropper tool, which you can use to select colors quickly and easily.

Choose a color that is lighter than the lightest cloud color currently in the painting. Then resize the brush so it is rather small. In this particular painting, a brush size from 10-20 will be most useful.

Using short and circular brushstrokes, paint into the edges of one of the main cloud shapes. The stroke should consist of many small circular motions that form a larger somewhat-spiral shape. The brushstroke will start out in the currently selected color and quickly fade into the surrounding colors. Figure 2.5 shows the type of motion to use when you paint the brushstroke (but using a large brush for clarity). If you look closely, you can see the many small strokes overlapping and painted into a somewhat spiral shape.

Figure 2.5 Small circular brushstrokes are painted over themselves in a roughly spiral shape.

Figure 2.5 Small circular brushstrokes are painted over themselves in a roughly spiral shape.

Learning to use the Cloud Variant brush successfully takes some practice but is worth the effort. With this brush, it is possible to paint a cloudy shape with light or dark areas in the deep canyon, like areas you see in large clouds. Figure 2.6 shows an extreme close-up of the edge of the cloud shape as lighter colors are painted over the existing colors. zotice the deep but light valley-like area. This is painted using the small circular strokes mentioned before and overlapping them with later strokes.

This technique works best if painted from the top outside edges to the lower middle of the cloud shape.

Best Technique For Drawing Clouds

Figure 2.6 A close-up of the edge of the cloud shape as lighter colors are painted over the existing colors using a circular motion with the cloud brush

Figure 2.6 A close-up of the edge of the cloud shape as lighter colors are painted over the existing colors using a circular motion with the cloud brush

Because we are not using a reference to paint the clouds, our goal is to paint the impression of the clouds and not the actual cloud itself.

4. Paint the rest of the clouds starting with larger brushstrokes and a larger size brush. Use lighter colors to begin the brushstroke.

5. As the light color fades, without lifting the stylus, continue to make the circular brushstrokes back over the lighter colors. The forms of the clouds will begin to appear in your brushstrokes without much effort. Figure 2.7 shows how the Cloud Variant brush has been used in larger sizes to paint the larger shapes of the clouds over the underlying colors.

Figure 2.7 Using large circular strokes along with larger brush sizes, the entire cloud is painted over the underlying base colors.

In some cases, these larger strokes will be convincing enough in the imitation of a bank of clouds that you can stop without further work. But most of the time, you will want to add smaller details to make the clouds more interesting. The best way to do this is to use Dons Brush to add additional opaque color in smaller round strokes, and then switch back to the Cloud brush and blend and refine these shapes. Figure 2.8 shows the lower-left side of the cloud bank where small opaque strokes were added over the first large layer of clouds. Figure 2.8 also shows how the small strokes have been blended and painted over using the Cloud brush in other areas of the cloud.

Cloud Paintings
Figure 2.8 Small, opaque colors are added in the lower left of the cloud for blending and adding more detail. Other sections of the clouds show how these small opaque strokes are blended into the underlying colors.

7. Create a new layer to add these smaller details. You do not want to work on the main Cloud layer in case it takes a few tries to get the look you want. It is much easier to experiment on a new layer and just delete the entire layer if it does not work the way you want. Make sure you have checked the Pick Up Underlying Color box in the Layers palette. Not checking the box can make the brushes behave in ways you may not want.

The edges of the cloud shapes against the sky are very crisp in some areas and need to be softened.

8. Choose Dons Blender, set Opacity to about 23%, and with a light touch, blend some of the harsher cloud edges into the surrounding sky colors. Figure 2.9 shows the results of blending the cloud edges into the surrounding sky.

9. If you have not done so already, save your image.

Blender Clouds

Figure 2.9 Using Dons Blender and a light touch, blend the harsh edges of the clouds into the surrounding sky color.

Figure 2.9 Using Dons Blender and a light touch, blend the harsh edges of the clouds into the surrounding sky color.

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

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  • BIAGIO FOLLIERO
    How to create clouds in blender?
    3 years ago

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