June 11, 2016

MTSC TIPS & TRICKS: Making a Simple Cloud Background by Charles Oldaugh

Trench Runner Charles Oldaugh tackles painting a simple background for your diorama or display.

I have been some painting backgrounds for the store recently, so we decided to show everybody how I go about it. The board I am painting on is 1/8” Hardboard that can be found at any home improvement store. I am using Folk Art acrylic paints which can be found at most craft stores. Colors Used: Wicker White, Sky Blue, True Blue, and Dove Grey.

Here I primed these boards with a good coat of Wicker White. Use a wide flat brush and don’t be afraid to squeeze out a lot of paint. I used a 2” brush from the hardware store.

After the first coat was dry I painted a layer of Sky Blue over the entire panel. 

I thinned out some True Blue with water and darkened the top 1/3 of the panel. Then I made a mixture with Sky Blue and Wicker White and thinned it down with water. I used this lighter mixture to lighten the bottom 1/3 of the panel. 

Using Dove Grey and a 1” brush, I painted in the clouds. When painting clouds either look up some photos of them or look out the window. Make sure some of your clouds go off of the edges of the panel. It makes the scene look much more natural.

Finally I used pure Wicker White and a ¾” brush to highlight the clouds. Pick one direction for the light to come from, and highlight that side of the cloud only.

Keep an eye out for my next post where I show you how to paint a tree line background

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