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How to Draw a Sky

Learn how to draw a sky from artist Rebecca Schweiger in this Howcast drawing tutorial.


We'll focus on how to draw sky. The sky is very vast, very beautiful, and very mysterious. Truly, the sky is different colors at different times of the day, and clearly, all over the world, the sky can look different. The basics are this: The bottom of your sky is always going to be lighter, and in gradations, will become darker and darker.

I'm going to use chalk pastels. I'm going to start by covering my entire area of sky with blue. You can be as creative as you want. There have been times where I've looked at the sky and I've seen every possible color other than blue; pinks, yellows, oranges, greens, purples. I'm just going to create a base with this Royal Bright Blue. I'm then going to take a lighter blue and just move right over it. You can use the side of your pastel; you can go in whatever directions you want. I love being able to move my whole arm and my whole body; it allows me the opportunity to really express myself through my art.

I'm going to rub in and blend these two blues together. I'm just taking my finger, or a couple of fingers, moving in different directions, and allowing these two blues to really become solidly blended together. Blow off the extra. I'm going to think about what colors I want to bring into the sky. For me, I love color. I'm going to bring in blues, but I'm also going to bring in some pinks and some purples, and other colors that I feel are really expressive and very uplifting.

The bottom of my sky is typically going to be a lighter shade. I'm using the side of my pastel, and I'm bringing in some white. As I move up the sky, because I love hot pink, I'm going to bring in some shades of hot pink. I'm going to put a little hot pink over the blue, but also over the white, as well. I'm going to add a touch of orange; again, using the side of the pastel, just going right on top.

At the very top of the sky, I'm adding a darker blue. I'm even going to add a touch of purple to the very top. I'm going to start shading in and mixing this darker blue area. You can go in whatever direction you choose. Then I'm going to make my way down to this bottom area where there are some pinks, whites, and oranges. I'm allowing myself to mix all of these colors together. I'll blow off the extra.

I'm just going to take a look at what I have. I realize that I still want the bottom to be even lighter, so I'm just going to put in a little bit of white right on top. I'm going to add another layer of a light blue, and it's going to go right over those pinks, but those different pinks and oranges are still going to shine right through. You have a little bit of those beautiful colors shining through. Then I'm going to make the top of the sky even darker, so I'm just adding little touches of a dark, dark blue. Mix that together. I'm going to put an actual blue on top of it, so that it's not too dark. You want all of those colors to really mix right together.

I'm really going to create a motion that goes from the bottom to the top, so all of these colors, from the lightest at the bottom to the darkest at the top, can mix together. Last but not least, I'm going to take a light blue, and I'm just going to run through the whole piece with this lighter blue so that all of these colors can start to mix together and feel like one sky. I'll allow myself to shade in the color one last time. If you ever have too much pastel on your hands, you can just wipe it off on another piece of paper. Here you have a really beautiful and very vast, colorful sky.

If I wanted to continue, I could add more color, I could add touches of sunset tones at the bottom, I could create clouds. There's so many different things that you can do within a sky. This is really just my base for the sky, and then I can take it in any direction that I choose to. Enjoy drawing your sky.

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