by Frank Glodek

 All Images and Graphics Copyright 2004 

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 Step 5: Making sure the brush was still on "airbrush", I then checked the box for wet edges. It allows you to paint and layer the bright spots more effectively. I set my brush to white and I begin to paint in the brighter sections of the clouds.                                               
Step 6: Next I create a layer called "Gray Cloud" (you can name them whatever you want, but it helps when they are descriptive). I fill in the other main bulk of the clouds with the darker colors. It can be corrected later with adjustment layers, but it helps build the solid mass of the clouds. If you look closely, I didn't actually use a gray swatch for the dark parts of the clouds, I used a "steely Blue". It just looks darker because of the high contrast from the white cloud sections and bright blue sky.
Step 7: Now comes my favorite part; using a tiny hard brush to draw some of the specific details on the clouds. To begin this I create an adjustment layer called "White Overlay". It is really just a new "normal" layer. You want these details to be sharp and not faded like the actual Overlay blending mode would create.

I focus mostly on the top right side of my clouds because that's where I have chosen my light source to be. There is sometimes bright white clouds on the top and bottom of clouds even with a direct light source becuase of their amorphous shape and positioning in the sky. You should find a good photo reference for some clouds you find interesting before you paint. Seeing how actual clouds look will help your work obtain that look of realism.

Step 8: After looking at my composition I decided I needed some more "weight" to my clouds, so I create a new layer called "cloud base 2", and place it near the bottom of my layers so that it appears behind all of my detail work. I use a very light-blue brush to fill in some more shape and bulk to my clouds. 


Hang in there! It takes some practice! Only 3 more steps to go!


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