Where I live, in the dry hills of the Central Coast of California, clouds are really, honestly a rarity. Most days the sky is a clear, steady blue. In the fall and spring, and sometimes into the summer, though, the seasons shift. The rainy season brings in moisture, clouds form, and the sky suddenly has a life of its own. In May and June, the coastal fog moves in, and sometimes you have a competition or a dance between the two – soft, cool fog close to the ground, and clouds at higher altitudes. As the fog breaks up, you see the blue sky and clouds above the shifting fog.
This is from a photograph I took a long time ago when I first started doing digital photography. A small group of us would get together to go for an easy hike, many times in the evening. Hummingbird Trail is where the original photo was taken, admittedly way over-processed in HDR, but the intensity of the colors held true. I tried to capture this in my painting, along with the shifting fog and clouds. I also tried to work on distance by applying a light glaze of a dulling blue grey wash to the distant hills, as well as decreasing details to indicate perspective.
Clouds are so much fun to do in watercolor! Who is to say your clouds don’t look real? There are so many mysteriously beautiful in the natural world, but few are as shifting and as ephemeral as clouds.