Use a sponge painting clouds!

by Lorenz

sponge cloud

sponge cloud

When reading about William Turner, I read that he used a lot of sponging for blending and textures. As a beginner, I had some trouble creating believable clouds. But sponging was the eureka!

Method: Make a (blue) sky wash. Wait for 1 minute. Then take a little sponge and start dabbing out the spots you want to be white. Then drop in a little gray for cloud shadows at the bottom of the cloud.

Then, immediately after that, again dab with the sponge to correct and blend the upper shadow outlines. Make sure that the sponge always has the right dampness (find out how) in order to avoid flowing-around water.

Keep the sponge clean, change the corners frequently while dabbing. I use a normal cheap household sponge for window cleaning. Sponges are great! We can learn from the masters like W. Turner!

Have fun, Lorenz!

Comments for Use a sponge painting clouds!

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Can't Wait to Try This!
by: Anonymous

I needed this tip earlier today!! I've just started painting and clouds have been driving me crazy. I think I tend to overdo them. Thanks for this tip! Can't wait to try it out tomorrow.

Deborah P.

This is a great tip!
by: Bonny

Lorenz, what a fabulous tip!
I'm not good at creating clouds either, so this is something I'm definitely going to try.
Thank you!

Good sponge tip, Lorenz!
by: Stephanie S.

Thats a great tip on using sponges. Here's another cloud tip that may be of some help to someone. I've been working on a beach scene and in the sky I use facial tissues to lift the clouds. The tissues are soft so they leave soft edges or hard edges - its up to you. Tissues also give a puffy look to the clouds. Right as the clouds have been blotted with tissue and close to being dry, I use a very fluffy mop brush and soften the eges of the clouds. Careful not to do it too soon or the clouds will be too wet and may smear more than you want - practice first. Then I go in with a little pink and purple, lightly putting the colors in the bottom of a few cloud. I hope this tip may help anyone out there.
PS. I'll post the beach picture in a week (or 2) when I finish it so keep your eye out for it.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Watercolor Painting Tips.

Like this page?