Stress-free skies in watercolour

A crisp blue sky with wispy clouds is so uplifting. 

But have you tried to paint skies in watercolour?

You might have felt that you ought to use some wet-in-wet techniques. But they can be unpredictable and can quickly get messy. 

Whilst it may be tempting to reach for a different medium to portray your skies, it’s really worth sticking with watercolour for this job.  In my opinion, there is nothing better than watercolour at capturing the delicate weightlessness of clouds. After all, water is what clouds are made of!

So in this video I show you an enjoyable and reliable method to layer up and get your skies looking exactly the way you want them. 

It’s slower than a wet-in-wet approach but hey, what’s the rush? Slow down and relax into it.

There is something deeply meditative about painting skies, particularly when you take your time over them.

Have you painted skies in watercolour before? What techniques have you tried, and how have you found them? Were there any aspects you particularly struggled with? Have you developed your own methods for achieving the result you wanted?

If you found this video helpful, or if you’d like to share your own experience of painting skies in watercolour, please leave me a comment below, I love to read them! 


Happy painting,

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  1. Bernie on November 5, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    Great tips! Thanks for posting this!

  2. Elizabeth O'Brien on November 5, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    Loved your way of painting skies! No fuss and very effective. Thanks again, Anna!

  3. Jean Peterson on November 5, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    Hi. Thank you for your tips on making the sky with watercolors. I appreciate it. It is like magic as that sky comes into its own.

  4. Judy on November 5, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    Beautiful ,love watching. Thank you. Judy

  5. patricia chapman on November 5, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    hello anna, I had to come away from your school, as I found it difficult to make time, I shall be returning soon, and I love watching the sky watercolour, hope ben is ok now. regards patricia.

    • Anna Mason on November 6, 2019 at 9:41 am

      Thank you Patricia. Ben is doing really well now. I look forward to seeing you back in the School soon 🙂

  6. marcia riesz on November 5, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    Enjoyed this very much. It seems to me a departure from your controlled paintings of flowers and birds.

    • Anna Mason on November 6, 2019 at 9:40 am

      Same method, different subject. Always fun to do something different now and again. Thank you for your comment Marcia 🙂

  7. Karla Kay Hull on November 5, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    Excellent video with easy to follow instructions. Thank you for sharing and well wishes going out to your adorable Ben for a speedy recovery.

  8. Shirley on November 5, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    A very good reason for using a small brush, I must try it. The effect was really natural. What paper did you use?

  9. Carolyn Haun on November 5, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    Anna, I was very eager to take your color class offered by Bluprint. Unfortunately I was not allowed by there system to sign up for only your class. No matter how many times I attempted to buy only your class I was rerouted to the monthly bill for all of Bluprint. Unfortunate. I have found your on line class and have signed on for 6 months. I am a colored pencil artist who has been away from my work while being a caregiver. I will continue to go back and forth between pencil with ink and your methods. I’m very much looking forward to studying your methods.

    • Anna Mason on November 6, 2019 at 9:39 am

      Thank you Carolyn and I’m sorry you had those issues with BluPrint. Nevertheless I think you’ll get great value from your membership! Enjoy – and please do share your work with the community!

  10. Helen on November 5, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    Lol, well that’s a first, but it works for you, you must have way more patience than me as well.
    I’m a wet into wet skies person, though I might try this for small paintings, or for cards, can see that working well
    Kind regards to you Anna

  11. Jenny Wray on November 5, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    Loved them xx

  12. Paulette on November 5, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    Really amazing seeing it come to life. I’m curious though as to how long the sky part took for you to do with the drying time involved. But really, beautriful

    • Anna Mason on November 6, 2019 at 9:38 am

      Oh it wasn’t too long (its all relative!) I think it was probably around an hour.

  13. Deirdre Marbeck on November 5, 2019 at 11:16 pm

    This looks lovely, and I will give it a go. Also love the tree-something I have struggled with
    Enjoy all your tips, and I love your book I purchased’ ‘the modern flower painter ‘. Much needed inspiration when one feels a bit stumped! Thank you from N.Z.

  14. MYTHILI RAJAGOPAL on November 5, 2019 at 11:30 pm

    I’ve always painted wet on wet but will try this method. Thank you for the tips!

  15. Ginger Lang on November 6, 2019 at 2:11 am

    Thank you, Anna. I so apprehensive opportunity to learn your methods of watercolor painting. A couple of days ago I finished my pear under your tutelage and I feel so happy to know that I can succeed in following your careful. Instruction. Thank you for the sky tip video. I look forward to more opportunities to learn from you. You are a superb instructor, thorough, patient, kind and precise.

    • Anna Mason on November 6, 2019 at 9:38 am

      Thank you so much Ginger – I’m delighted you enjoyed painting the Pear!

  16. Ginger Lang on November 6, 2019 at 2:13 am

    Sorry…I so appreciate…

  17. Hilda Barone on November 6, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    Thankyou for showing us these tips Anna xx

  18. Lena on November 6, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    Thank you Anna! Your paintings are amazing! Thank you for sharing with us. I have watched a few of your tutorials and they are very inspiring and helpful.

  19. Vinay Chafekar on November 7, 2019 at 5:45 am


  20. Lumina on November 7, 2019 at 8:48 am

    Dear Anna!!! Now the struggle for a true sky is over! Thank you for this long awaited video! Will schedule the time to attempt this fun and inspiring video, yet another delightful and peace full moment.
    My GOD Bless Ben for a full recovery with his Mommy!

  21. Lumina Larocque on November 7, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    Thank you, Thank you and Big Hugs! Will you be showing us How to paint sunsets? Mine turn out so pinky kitchy, unnatural looking. HELP!

  22. Suzanne Linch on November 9, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    Thank you Anna,
    I normally paint my sky wet into wet, however can be messy as you say.
    Shall try this, sky looks very real.

  23. Margaret Axford on November 10, 2019 at 5:21 am

    Hi Anna,
    I must say I like your method of painting sky’s. I too have always used wet into wet. I will try this method and hope I can improve. You explain thing so well it is clear and precise. Makes painting much more enjoyable and not so scary.

  24. Kathie Wiederspan on November 21, 2019 at 8:54 pm

    Is the full video of the sky and landscape included in the membership tutorials?

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