Paint An Evening Sky and Clouds In Watercolor

Evening skies are warmer than daytime, but the colors are tricky. So are the clouds when the sun is low in the sky or even below the horizon. This lesson shows you how to get the right colors in the sky and to light the clouds from below.


painting of trees with autumn leaves

What You’ll Learn

  • The ‘upside-down’ light condition on evening clouds
  • Painting a warm sky

Paint It!

Evening skies often have warm reds, yellow and oranges rather than typical daytime blue. 

Also, clouds are often lit from below by a setting sun. 

This is an easy lesson that uses a methodical, layered approach to painting skies.  The real trick is the upside down lighting condition on the clouds and managing the warm colors at the right value. 

This lesson shows how. 

What You’ll Need

  • Brushes – 1 1/2″ Flat, 1″ Long Bristle Flat, Medium Round (1/4″ wide at ferrule), Small Round (1/8″ wide)
  • A palette with your colors – Cobalt Blue, Cerulean Blue, Permanent Alizarin Crimson,  Cadmium Red Light, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna
  • Watercolor paper – preferably Arches 140lb Cold Press cut to about 9″ x 12″ – slightly different proportions is OK


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