In Uncategorized, Painting Techniques

How to paint skies in watercolor by Roland Lee
“Desert Sky” 6.5 x 10 watercolor by Roland Lee

In yesterday’s watercolor workshop I demonstrated how easy it is to paint skies in watercolor. In the painting above for the sky I used Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red Light, and Ultramarine Blue, letting the pigments mingle in a wet in wet wash for the cloud shadows. I like to complete the sky in about 3 minutes then let it go. This usually results in a natural looking sky with rich glowing light in the cloud areas.

Watercolor technique How to Paint Skies by Roland LeeAfter completing the sky I allow it to dry and paint in the distant mesa and a light wash over the foreground area, so I can evaluate my lights and darks. With the initial values in place I use my pencil to sketch in some of the shadows and details on the shrubs.

Watercolor technique How to Paint Skies by Roland LeeAt this stage I bring the painting into sharper focus by putting additional darks in the shadow areas and adding the foreground elements. Finally I put in some strong directional shadows across the foreground. the painting should be finished, but I decide the sky might need a little more attention.

Watercolor technique How to Paint Skies by Roland LeeOrdinarily I complete the sky in one pass, but I feel that there needs to be a little more drama in the cloud shadows so I decide to apply a second glaze. This is risky business, since it can muddy up a clean wash if not done correctly. First I completely re-wet the sky area with a 1-inch flat brush and clear water. While wet, I touch a mixture of Ultramarine blue and Quinacridone Coral on the underside of the clouds to darken them slightly.

Watercolor technique How to Paint Skies by Roland LeeI like the new result better.

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search

Subscribe to my Newsletter

Subscribe to my Newsletter

Enter your email address if you want to stay informed about the latest from Roland Lee!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

', 'auto'); ga('send', 'pageview'); ga_fired = true; } }, true);