How to Draw Clouds: A Beginner’s Guide

Halo Zeromedia!

Clouds are an essential part of any landscape drawing, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist. Drawing clouds can seem daunting at first, but with a little bit of practice and patience, you can create beautiful clouds that add depth and realism to your artwork. In this article, we’ll go over five consecutive ways to draw clouds, from the simple to the more complex. Let’s get started!


Before we begin, let’s make sure we have all the necessary materials. You’ll need:

  1. Pencils (HB or 2B)
  2. Eraser
  3. Paper (preferably thick or colored paper for better texture)
  4. Blending stump or cotton swabs

Basic Cloud Shapes

One of the simplest ways to draw clouds is to start with basic shapes and then add details. Here are some basic cloud shapes to get you started:

  • Cumulus Clouds – fluffy and rounded
  • Stratus Clouds – flat and horizontal
  • Cirrus Clouds – thin and wispy

To draw these shapes, use light and feather-like strokes with your pencil. Don’t worry about adding details yet, we’ll get to that later.

Adding Texture

Once you’ve drawn your basic cloud shape, it’s time to add texture. To create the fluffy, puffy look of cumulus clouds, use circular strokes with your pencil. For stratus clouds, use long horizontal strokes, and for cirrus clouds, use thin and wispy strokes.

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To create a more realistic texture, use a blending stump or cotton swabs to blend the pencil strokes together. This will create a soft and seamless look.

Shadows and Highlights

To add depth to your clouds, it’s important to add shadows and highlights. Shadows are created by adding darker tones to the underside of the cloud, while highlights are created by using lighter tones on the top of the cloud.

To create shadows, use a pencil that is slightly darker than the base color of the cloud. Shade in the underside of the cloud, making sure to blend the pencil strokes together. To create highlights, use an eraser to lighten the top of the cloud.

Adding Details

Now that you’ve created your basic cloud shape, added texture, and shadows and highlights, it’s time to add details. Details can include things like individual cloud formations, rain, or lightning.

To create cloud formations, use your pencil to draw puffy, rounded shapes within the cloud. For rain, use thin and straight lines coming from the underside of the cloud. For lightning, draw jagged lines coming from the cloud and down to the ground.

Creating a Cloudscape

Once you’ve mastered drawing individual clouds, it’s time to create a cloudscape. A cloudscape is a landscape that includes clouds as a prominent feature.

To create a cloudscape, start by drawing the basic landscape, whether it’s a mountain range, a city skyline, or a beach scene. Then, add your clouds using the techniques we’ve discussed. Make sure to vary the size, shape, and texture of your clouds to create depth and interest in your artwork.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are there any shortcuts to drawing clouds quickly?

A: While practice and patience are key to mastering any art form, there are a few shortcuts you can take. For example, using a cloud stencil or tracing a cloud shape can help you get started. Just remember to add your own personal style and details to make it unique.

Q: What’s the best way to create a realistic cloudscape?

A: The best way to create a realistic cloudscape is to study real-life cloud formations and landscapes. Take reference photos or go outside and observe the clouds in the sky. Pay attention to the color, texture, and size of the clouds in relation to your landscape.

Q: Can I use colored pencils or paints to draw clouds?

A: Absolutely! Using colored pencils or paints can add a whole new dimension to your clouds and allow you to add even more detail and texture. Just make sure to practice with your materials first to get the hang of blending and layering colors.


Congratulations, Zeromedia! You’ve learned five consecutive ways to draw clouds, from the simple to the more complex. Remember, practice makes perfect when it comes to art, so don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. With these techniques, you’ll be able to create beautiful clouds that add depth and realism to your artwork. Good luck and happy drawing!

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