Two techniques to practice (learning from a , you guessed it, youtube tutorial! “Geoff’s Top Tips One-Part One”), wet on wet and wet on dry. So here goes!
Wet on wet:
Four attempts at this one. I like some of the results. This will make a pretty background. Technique: wet the whole area. Working quickly, mix three washes, a thin wash of cobalt blue, with a little touch of the rose madder (a TOUCH, you don’t want to turn it purple, although… mine looks purple here), then a translucent gray, again with a touch of rose madder to warm it, and finally (with a very clean brush) a thin wash of a creamy naples yellow, with a bit of vermillion added. (An interesting note: I don’t currently own ANY of these colors. So… I used what I have.)
Wet the whole page, start the yellow/pinky color at the bottom, nice and light, working it up in horizontal streaks but leaving lots of white, adding more water as you go up. The use the blue in horizontal streaks, lightly, letting it seep a bit into the pinky color as it goes lower. Leaving lots of white. Finally the gray, more heavily, which really forms the clouds. (thinner lines at the bottom) All of this must be worked quickly. And I mean quickly. 30 seconds, a minute, not much more. The paper must be wet the whole time.
wet on dry:
I like these results as well. Technique: Mix colors as you go this time. Wet the whole area. Use a naples yellow wash across from the bottom up, leaving some white, particularly in the middle, as the brightest part of the sky. Let this fully dry. Mix french ultramarine, a strong vivid transparent blue (apparently this is important, the transparency), gray it slightly with a hint of burnt sienna. Start at the upper left, make horizontal streaks across, moving down, adding a touch of water to soften it and to vary the strength. (again: I don’t have these colors, which I will use as my excuse for these not looking terribly like the tutorial sample, but really that’s not the reason. It’s a combination of supplies and experience.)
The second technique is a little more precise feeling and more difficult, but gives very different clouds so is necessary if I want thinner less puffy clouds. The first is more fun.