How to Draw Cumulus Clouds

Learning how to draw cumulus clouds can be a study in aerial perspective, shapes and shading. While these fluffy clouds may look intimidating, they aren’t that hard to draw once they are broken down into basic shapes.

How to Draw The Bottom Of A Cumulus Cloud

When you look at a near cumulus cloud from the ground it has a distinctive shape on the bottom. When you see a faraway cumulus cloud, you don’t see the bottom at all. For realistic drawings, artist should remember this rule of thumb: The closer the cloud is to the horizon line, the less cloud bottom you will see.

Cumulus clouds have the hardest bottoms to draw because they are three-dimensional shapes instead of just wispy plumes. Take a look at the illustration at the bottom of the article. For the most part, these bottoms can be drawn as foreshortened parallelograms with wavy sides instead of straight. The sides of the cloud connect to the farthest point on each side of the bottom.

How to Draw A Cloud Step-by-Step

Cloud Demo 1how to paint a Cloud Demo 2Cloud painting 3 Once you have determined if you need a bottom or not, you can move on the rest of the cloud. The following tutorial will help you learn the basic shapes of a cumulus cloud.

  1. With a light touch, draw an upside down U-shape.
  2. Draw a crescent shape on the left side of the U-shape.
  3. Draw a slightly larger crescent shape on the right side of the U-shape.
  4. Draw a large U-shape underneath the crescent on the left.
  5. Draw a large U-shape underneath the crescent on the right.
  6. Draw a wavy line underneath the U-shapes.
  7. Add shading.

Tips For Drawing Clouds

Here are a few tips to take your basic cloud from the tutorial and make it more realistic.

  • Never use straight lines.
  • Use soft, wispy strokes.
  • Make sure to find your light source (the sun or the moon) before you begin drawing.
  • Layer your shapes so that they are more three-dimensional.
  • The shapes that are closer to you will be lighter.
  • The shapes that are farther away will be darker.
  • The bottoms of clouds are darker than the tops.

With these drawing tips, some practice and some observation of some real cumulus clouds, you’ll be able to draw fantastic landscapes in no time.