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Paint Stunning Skies in Watercolor, Oil, and Pastel: 3 Essential Videos

The sky’s the limit! Explore these three must-watch videos for painting colorful, cloud-filled skies.

Summertime means spending ample time outdoors and enjoying all the incredible scenes as the sun moves through its path in the sky. So, we thought we’d compile three of our favorite video workshops — all about painting skies full of dramatic colors and clouds. First, the great Paul Jackson leads you through simple steps to create serene, awe-inspiring sunsets from photos in his watercolor workshop, “Color of Sunset.” Julie Gilbert Pollard breaks down her process for painting clouds in “How to Paint Skies & Clouds,” focusing on using simple shapes to create dramatic effects. Then, in this must-see video from Liz Haywood-Sullivan, “Painting Realistic Landscapes in Pastel: Skies,” learn master techniques for working with color, perspective, atmosphere, and more, to capture the beauty of nature. By the end of it all, you’ll be on cloud nine!

1. Mix Colors for a Watercolor Sunset

Make way for a truly dramatic painting! Here you’ll follow along as accomplished watercolorist Paul Jackson shares his simple steps for painting serene, awe-inspiring subjects from photos. Watch the preview above, then join Jackson for the full video workshop as he demonstrates how to paint a tranquil, awe-inspiring sunset, which enchantingly illuminates the rippling water below. Painting skies in watercolor has never been more beautiful.

2. Master Value to Paint Clouds in Oil

Since a cloud can be any shape at all, painting skies presents the perfect opportunity for practicing your oil painting techniques! Check out this preview of a video workshop with Julie Gilbert Pollard, where she shares a lesson on value and how to mix lights and darks to give your clouds form. Then watch the full workshop to complete the final painting — full of that quintessential afternoon-thunderstorm drama.

3. Paint Realistic Landscapes in Pastel

In this video workshop, Liz Haywood-Sullivan begins with exercises on aerial perspective, value, and color to introduce the elements needed to paint a believable sky. She then uses pastel to paint a colorful, cloud-filled sky from start to finish, with a focus on contrasts, lost and found edges, color, value, atmospheric perspective, and general painting techniques, so you can create your own beautiful sky paintings. Continue on to the full video workshop for tips on aerial perspective to create depth and distance, how to underpaint value and color, and how to paint in a cloud full of dimension and volume. Voilà!

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