In this tutorial I’ll teach you how to make clouds with brushes. There are several ways to create clouds including the use of the Render filter. I am an artist first and so if you learn to create clouds from scratch, you’ll have more opportunities and choices, which is what we want. To begin, let’s create a background sky using the gradient you see below. For the clouds we’ll create a new layer. Make sure your foreground color is white. Choose the brush ‘Heavy Smear Wax Crayon’.
We will want to increase it’s size. To do so, press ] bracket several times. Set the brush Opacity to 100%. Paint in some white areas. You may paint in one area then click and slightly paint in another area giving you a more natural look. Reduce the size of the brush and paint in some more areas. Then try reducing the size again and add more areas to the clouds to give them a more realistic look. Create a new layer at this point. Add a gradient as shown below to the layer. Hold the Alt key down and click between the cloud layer and the gradient layer, and when you see the cursor change, click. The sample below is where we are at this point.
Select the original brush we used if it is not selected. Set the Opacity of the brush to approximately 44%. Select the Eraser tool. Begin erasing areas. Remember to decrease the size of the brush as necessary. Reduce the size of the brush again still using the Eraser tool. We want to bring out the whitest whites in the clouds. Erase around the areas most likely to be very white. Select the Burn tool. Make sure our original brush is selected and increase it’s size if necessary. We want to add some more depth to the clouds so we will add shadows. The Exposure of the brush should be no more than 16%. Increase and decrease the size of the tool using the bracket keys. We’re looking for realism. Link the two layers and Merge them to create one layer. Select the Blur tool and blur the rough edges. Duplicate this layer.
Using Gaussian Blur, set it’s Radius to 29.6 and select OK. Reduce the Opacity of the layer to 64%. Our clouds are looking more realistic now. Select the original cloud layer and apply Fragment. Merge the two cloud layers. Finally, select the Dodge tool set on Highlights at 27% and highlight areas again to give the clouds even more realism. Make sure the brush you have selected is round with no hardness at all. If you have trouble with this part just find a picture of clouds and look at how the light hits the different areas. Download this Photoshop tutorial in PDF Format!
PDF format downloading is considered the best as it takes lesser time compared to other formats and PDF opens up easily as well without any troubles even though photoshop MacBook does take its own sweet time in downloading certain files and photoshop is anyhow a popular option for learning new aspects of editing software.