When you are perfecting your painting process, there are certain elements that you simply must get down. To be an effective painter, one thing that you must perfect is painting skies well.
Since the majority of paintings incorporate some sort of sky element, knowing how to manage them is crucial. You will learn that there are many things to consider when you begin painting skies.
However, if you learn to manage these powerful elements, you will find the quality of your work significantly increases. Skies are not just a backdrop, but a character all their own.
Find The Right Colors
—If there is one thing that you have to look out for when painting skies, it is getting the coloring right. To effectively approach this, you will want to consider what kind of sky you plan on painting. The sky, while singular, has many different faces.
Understanding what time of day and weather are contributing to your skies will make them look more realistic. This is where the true magic comes in when painting skies. If you can get the coloring right, you can control the tone of an entire image. As a focus, skies are a powerful tool within art.
Consider Your Details
—A primary focus when it comes to painting skies should always be the details within them. While it is possible to merely pick a color and paint the sky with it to represent the vast feature, it isn’t effective. Skies, in reality, have a remarkable amount of detail.
The details within the sky can change depending on the weather, location, and more. There might be clouds or birds, or any other variation of features to add while painting skies. Finding the right elements to add to improve the overall content of the piece is crucial for a concrete final product.
Keep Your Head On The Clouds
—As far as painting skies go, there are few things more important to consider than clouds. While you might end up painting a clear sky from time to time, clouds tend to play a significant role in this process. Since clouds are an incredibly common element in most sky settings, people tend to include them across the board.
Making sure that your clouds are textured and designed realistically can drastically improve the quality of your painting. It makes it easier for you to get a more detailed painting with greater realism.
Remember There Is More Than One Shade to The Sky
—To create a truly stunning painting of the sky, you will want to remember that shades matter. The sky, while filled with different colors, is also filled with different shades. When you look at the sky, it is easy to see the different shades at work. The sky is never one shade of blue or pink.
It is always a cascade of colors that blend from one area to the next depending on the time of day. You will find that your quality of painting skies improves dramatically when you focus on showing off the variations within the sky itself.
Consider Your Stroke
—A great way to help improve the quality of your work when painting skies is to focus on your stroke. A powerful way to work on this portion of any painting is to find the right variations in stroke. This can be particularly powerful when paired with various shades of a color.
Consider utilizing different sized brushes to get a more textured effect. You must just find that varying your stoke can lead to a more rich vision of the sky. It is also incredibly effective to use broad strokes and then add more detailed variations with smaller brushes.
Focus on the Lighting
—Lighting is a crucial part of any painting, but it is often overlooked when painting skies. Because skies are where the light originates from, many people tend to forget this when painting, Even though the sun and stars exist within the sky, people tend to not think about how sun matters here.
The reality is the sky also shows the power of light. While some people might be more prone to thinking that the light doesn’t apply here, it does. It determines the way that the shading will fall within the sky itself.
Don’t Forget About the Sun or The Moon
—As far as sky elements go, there are none more important than the sun, moon, and stars. The reality is that in most cases, you will want to include these elements within the painting itself. There is no golden rule that says that you absolutely must have them, but many times it does have an impact.
A sky that has been painted without some of these elements will often feel incomplete or empty in some way. It might throw off the appearance of the lighting or make it more difficult to find the right angle for the shading. You might be able to justify a moonless night, but in daytime pictures, the sun plays a key role. Do not rob your sky of its source of light.
Find the Right Place to Start
—If there is one consideration to make when it comes to painting skies, it is finding the right portion of the painting to begin the sky. Though this can vary largely depending on the style of the painting and surrounding context, it can influence the painting greatly.
If you start the sky too low or too high within the painting, you might throw off the overall balance of the painting itself. This might make it look disproportional or even negatively impact the way that the other elements fall. Finding the right place to start the sky, particularly when it hits a more bold section, is crucial.
Balance the Rest of the Image
—To effectively paint a sky in any image, you need to think of it as a balancing force. The sky is such an important element in art, particularly because it allows you to bring the image together. In most instances, the sky is a large portion of the painting itself.
To find the best possible way to paint the sky, you want to think of it as a balancing force. Use it to bring everything together, allowing it to show off a smooth and captivating contrast to the painting itself. Most importantly, make sure that the sky color scheme is in line with the rest of the painting.
Find the Right Tone
—Tone is something that absolutely must be considered when painting, and it is one area people struggle with. The sky within a painting is a force to be reckoned with in several ways. In most paintings, the sky is used to tell a story. It will tell the overall tone of the world within the painting itself.
A bright and sunny sky can convey happiness or brighter emotions. A darker sky might speak to the drama of a scene. It is important to consider the reality that people look to the sky for answers. Make sure you give them the answers.
Consider The Use of Space
—The sky is an interesting part of any painting because it plays multiple roles within a painting. On one hand, the sky is often presented as a background that can be used to add more texture or depth. On the other hand, the sky is its viable portion of any painting.
In many ways, the sky is often a character of its own. When painting skies, you need to keep this in mind and act accordingly as a consequence of this fact. You might find that this greatly influences how you present this portion of your painting. Within your painting, the sky should interact with surrounding elements. You want portions of the painting to reach up to the sky regardless of angle.
Don’t Be Afraid To Step Out of the Box
—Some of the best painting involving sky elements are known for taking tremendous risks. When you look at The Starry Night, a significant amount of originality was brought into this. Artists use this time and time again to draw the audience in and present them with a completely different story.
You might be wondering if you can use strange colors or designs within the sky and the answer is absolutely yes. It is amazing what a unique or altered sky can do to bring out the right feel to a painting. There are so many exciting ways to present the sky beyond basic coloring.
Let The Light Shine Through
—Depending on the overall tone of your painting, you might be able to benefit from using rays of light. When painting skies, it is a common tactic to use actual rays of sunlight to help the sky look more interesting. This can be utilized in a way that makes it easy for you to present the sky as it interacts with the world.
Rays of light take your sky and help it to blend into the other elements of your painting. This makes it feel more detailed and more interactive as a whole. When done correctly, it can have a rather thrilling effect on a painting.
Remember Night Skies Aren’t Black
—A common mistake that many young artists make is believing that the night sky should be black. While you can add black elements depending on your piece, you never want to cover it completely. When you paint the night sky, you want to focus on bringing together blends of blues and purples to create a better effect.
Mixing these colors and blending them appropriately can have truly amazing results on a painting. People find that this adds more depth, texture, and makes the painting look better all around. Including straight black onto a painting can be stark. This softens it and allows you to blend your painting for a great finish.
Sunsets and Sunrises Are Always A Great Touch
—Though this might be a bit of a generalization, the fact remains that choosing a sunrise or sunset can be great. These variations of sky are generally considered to be the prettiest. When you are going to paint a skyline, think about the tone of the day and whether or not this is truly possible.
You might just find that incorporating this style of backdrop can significantly improve the look of your painting. Opting for this beautiful blend of pinks and oranges or purples and blues can improve your sky painting process. Perfecting this look can be a beautiful addition to your work as a whole. For best results here, take some time to look at images of the sky in these forms to find the best blend of colors.
Other featured topics to help you with painting:
- How To Paint Celebrity Portraits From Photographs: Step-by-Step Guide To Digital Painting
- 100 Best Digital Painting Tutorials to Help You Paint Like a Master
- 8 Exercises To Improve Your Digital Painting in 2019
Finding the right way to paint your skies can significantly influence the ways that you manage your paintings. You will find that by learning how to effectively paint skies, your paintings will come together in a new way. These elements are perfect for providing a way for other elements of the painting to connect.
In some ways, the sky in a painting can play background, character, glue, and more. Though no two skies are alike, learning how to manage these elements constructively can improve your overall skillset. Don’t hesitate to experiment and see what you can do. The sky is quite literally the limit.
What are your favorite colors to use to paint skies?