6 WAYS TO PAINT A WATERCOLOR SKY

Do I hear a “Yay!” for another addition in my “Learn Watercolors” series? I sure hope so because all the posts in it are my most popular yet. And it gives me the thrills to know that you are learning from it. Today’s post is all about skies and how to paint a watercolor sky in six different ways!

Learn 6 ways to paint a watercolor sky - Inkstruck Studio

Today’s post incorporates a lot of the techniques I previously explained in my Watercolor Blending post. I waned to do a tutorial that practically explains them. And therefore decided to begin with one of the main elements in any landscape painting. The sky! You’ll learn how to create a 2 lovely blue skies, 2 stormy skies, one at dawn and another at dusk.

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Learn 6 ways to paint a watercolor sky - Inkstruck Studio

Materials required:-

  1. Watercolor paper- I recommend this and this.
  2. Watercolor paints- This one is perfect for beginners and this one is great if you want to invest in an artist’s range.
  3. Watercolor brush- You can’t go wrong with silver black velvet brushes
  4. Paper towel


1.Painting a calm watercolor sky

1.1. Watercolor sky with defined clouds

Using the “softening the colors” techniques in my blending with watercolors post, paint the sky.

Learn 6 ways to paint a watercolor sky - Inkstruck Studio

Take a thick paper towel and dab while the paint is still wet to form clouds. The harder you press, the more defined they’ll be.

Learn 6 ways to paint a watercolor sky - Inkstruck Studio

1.2.Watercolor sky with wispy clouds

Paint the under-layer in watercolor. Fold the paper towel in half and use the edge as shown below and drag slowly while the paint is wet. You can stop right here if you want or add a keep picking up color.

Learn 6 ways to paint a watercolor sky - Inkstruck Studio

2.Painting a stormy watercolor sky

2.1.Stormy sky-Style 1

Lay down a wash of watercolor paint. I mixed Dioxane purple and Ultramarine deep. Payne’s grey will work as well. While the paint is still wet, paint clouds by mixing ultramarine deep with Ivory black. Add some bits of pure black as well.

Define the clouds with Ivory black all of this while the paint is still wet. Wait for a while for the paint to be damp and add the final shadows.

Learn 6 ways to paint a watercolor sky - Inkstruck Studio

2.2. Stormy sky- Style 2

Now this watercolor sky is pretty much the same as the previous one but with darker clouds and less sky. Lay down a very light wash of grey. Add deep blacks and blues while the paint is still wet in the shape of clouds.

Keep adding color to make it darker. All of this while the paint is still wet. We don’t want any hard edges. Wet on wet painting makes the colors softer and the painting much more interesting.

Leave a tiny bit of white space as shown in the third image in the collage below so that you get the feeling of clouds present. See how different both the stormy skies look side by side?

Learn 6 ways to paint a watercolor sky - Inkstruck Studio

3.Watercolor sky at dawn

I absolutely love the sky at dawn. Such beautiful colors. I wonder if Pantone’s colors of the year, Rose Quartz and Serenity were inspired by the sky.

Lay down a wash of  Cobalt violet light hue, Opera rose and a dash of dioxane purple. All really washed out and pale.

Paint a couple of clouds with the same color scheme mentioned above.

Learn 6 ways to paint a watercolor sky - Inkstruck Studio

4.Watercolor sky at dusk

Lay down a wash of Indian yellow and Naples yellow deep mixed with French vermillion.

Paint wispy lines in French vermillion alternating with Indian yellow while the paint is still wet.

If you’re feeling playful, wait for it to dry and add a couple of trees and flying birds as silhouettes.

Learn 6 ways to paint a watercolor sky - Inkstruck Studio

And done! How fun was that. Six ways to paint a watercolor sky in one single post. There! Now get those brushes out and start painting and hey, don’t forget to tag me with #makeinkstruck on Instagram if you do. Because well, I love seeing what you create and it makes me all warm and fuzzy thinking someone’s learnt something from the blog. Let me know of you have any questions in the comments below or just pop me an email ay <zakkiya@inkstruck.com>. I’m just a click away!

Have a wonderful rest of the week.Cheers!

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About zakkiya hamza @ inkstruck

Zakkiya is the creative blogger and founder of Inkstruck Studio. She’s a self taught artist who let go of her architecture profession to pursue her passion in art. Zakkiya likes to write detailed tutorials in watercolor, calligraphy, and hand lettering. She also teaches watercolor workshops occasionally in Doha where she’s based currently. Other passions include traveling, photography, and basketball.When she’s not working, you can find her cuddling and running around with her toddler boy.

8 thoughts on “6 WAYS TO PAINT A WATERCOLOR SKY

  1. Very nice tutorial. Can’t wait to have some time to play with my paints. My only comment was on my computer it might have been a little better to have more contrast with your background. White paper on white was a little hard for me to see. (Old eyes?) Thanks for all you do.

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words Joan. And thanks a lot for the feedback as well. I’ve never really thought about how it might be difficult for some people. I’ll keep this in mind for my future tutorials. And I hope you have a fab time playing with your paints. Have a lovely day. x

  2. Hi Zakkiya,
    I think you’re amazing with water colour paints! You create such wonders with it! Thank you so much for a very helpful tutorial!

  3. Thank you. I love to learn it. Very helpful. And I wish to learn more lflowers like roses, water Lilly etc.

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