Whispy clouds in a painting I’m working onA key aspect of being a good artist is being a good observer. The longer you practice in any type of medium, the more you begin to look closely at the world around you. One of my favorite things to look at, as well as to paint or draw is a  cloudy sky. Luckily, this is the perfect time of year to see some really spectacular clouds. Take a little time to lay in the grass and look up with your little artist. Play the time-honored game of finding animals (or whatever) in the clouds. Now, head inside and try making your own sky. I love hiding pictures in the clouds of my paintings. You will too.

Don’t try too hard. Keep it abstract, there is nothing wrong with a 3-legged giraffe or a head only portrait of a long, curly haired girl. Just have fun! Try a few pictures of just clouds…tell your child how important it is to artists to practice observing and portraying something (the art term is a study.)

Materials:rainy pic

Paper (I used black construction paper.)

Chalk or pastels, crayons will work great too

1. There aren’t many steps to this one…just give it a try! The more you experiment, the better you will get. Try letting the paper show through to create shadows.

2. Now throw some cloudy portraits into a scene. You’ll never look at the sky the same (or at least I hope so!)