A decent attempt. No accompanying details (no overlap or other clouds, no ground, no sun, etc.) makes it kind of plain and artificial.
It’s hard to randomize the brush shapes without becoming repetitive or unnatural. The cloud edges are sharper than I realized.
The biggest challenge is looking at what’s there and figuring out what would make it more cloudlike. I watched a few tutorials, but they mostly seemed to draw-the-rest-of-the-owl in terms of the tutors already knowing what they’re doing and producing what looked like a better cloud than I got from their first stroke all the way through.
The general process they follow:
- Block out the general cloud shapes.
- Refine into cloud shapes.
- Shade and highlight.
- Add details.
The process I finally used to make this was:
- Use a brush with almost no opacity. Add tiny amounts of paint over a lot of clicks.
- Realize that while it looked okay, it was too fluffy and too transparent.
- Switch to a square brush and color over what I had and smudge a lot with different shades.
- Keep refining for a long time.
Theirs were faster and better in a lot of ways, but they’ve got experience (and graphics tablets). One of the downsides of painting software is the reliance on tablets (mainly because it’s a more natural input, but also because it has pressure sensitivity that can be used to change all sorts of brush dynamics).
I wonder if a mouse had click-pressure, how that would do as a middle-ground? I think using a graphics tablet and stylus would annoy me, having to switch between it and mouse and keyboard to change settings that weren’t reachable with the tablet.
In any case, enjoy the cloud!