Sky mural for a baby’s room in a Chandler home
This was a white ceiling that I then added shades of pastel blue to. Although this is a baby’s room, the customer wanted something that wasn’t baby-specific. So I painted more realistic clouds, rather than stylized cartoon type ones.
Painting clouds on a ceiling to make a sky mural
There are several ways to paint sky murals.
For this particular example I pre-mixed three shades of the same pastel blue. Using a rag I roughed in the main cloud shapes with the darker of the three shades, fading it over the existing white background to form the basic cloud shapes. I then took the next lighter color and using a rag again, applied it over the transition between the darker blue and the white to soften the cloud edges. Finally, using another rag, I used the lightest blue to add modeling to the cloud shapes and further soften the cloud edges.
Another version of this technique is to paint the ceiling with the lightest blue color instead of white. Then, using the darkest of the blues, create the basic cloud shapes, fading the color into the background to form the clouds. White is then applied to form the clouds, creating the edges of the clouds over the feathered areas of blues. I have found that it’s quicker to get a more real, layered cloud effect using rags than a brush. I reserve brushwork for defining hard edges if necessary, depending on the type of cloud I’m trying to reproduce.
The third way of painting clouds is to start with a white or blue ceiling, Then using a the same blue for the sky and white for the clouds, paint the clouds, mixing the blue with the white to merge the clouds with the sky so you get a similar softening of the cloud edges.
You can, of course, paint clouds that look like cartoon clouds. Paint the background in whatever color you like. Then, paint traditional cartoon cloud shapes in whatever color you like, using a brush to give the hard edges. You can mix the two colors as you paint to create the softening and layering. Or just use the cloud color, and feather it toward the center of the cloud to give the softening and layering.