Album Covers: 18 Free Realistic Cloud Vectors" loading="lazy" />
Clouds come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s hard to recreate them in your artwork. Here are eighteen unique clouds in a customizable vector format.
Designing with vectors has mostly relegated itself to over-simplification. This tends to lead to cartoonish elements with basic shapes and little realistic representation. As someone who enjoys the scalability and easy edibility of vectors, I’ve always struggled to create artwork that’s more representative. As a fan of creating landscapes, I’m always looking for realistic-looking clouds. So, here I’ve created eighteen unique clouds, while keeping with the simplicity of vectors.
We see clouds almost everyday, so it’s reasonable to say it can influence your artwork when designing. Whether you’re creating a flyer or an album cover, clouds can create wonder or just set a scene. Here are some realistic clouds to help take your vector illustrations even higher.
Included in the 18 Free Cloud Vectors Design Pack
The free Vector Clouds pack includes eighteen unique clouds, along with four editable gradient backgrounds. It’s offered up in two file formats — Adobe Illustraor (.AI) and an Encapsulated PostScript (.EPS) file.
In the file, you’ll see different colorways for scenes — from bright, daytime, sunlit clouds, to vanilla sunset skies. Each cloud is two toned, so you can edit its main color and its shadows separately. Mixing and matching the clouds and a flat or gradient background should offer you limitless possibilities. Experiment with them to see what fits your project’s mood, and remember that the sky’s the limit!
How to Download the Cloud Vectors Design Pack
Downloading this free Realistic Cloud Vectors pack is simple. Just click on the button below for direction to your download. Then, double-click the ZIP file to unpackage its contents. You’ll see the illustrations and backgrounds in their respective folders.
By downloading this free Realistic Cloud Vector Pack, you agree not to resell or redistribute these assets.
Change Colors to Match Composition
Implement contrast into your composition by adding darker colors to the clouds’ shadows. Image via TLP Media Works.
One way to incorporate these into your project is to import them and change the colors to match your composition. An easy way to do that is to pull lighter colors for the cloud highlights, and darker colors for the cloud shadows. This will help bring the clouds and the rest of your composition together.
You can also play with complimentary colors to make it pop on your current background. In addition, play with gradients to give them a bit more dimension. This one you’ll have to eyeball, but I always find that less is more. There are no right or wrong solutions, but ideally, you want the contrast to appear natural.
Experiment with Opacity and Distance
Experiment with opacity and distance to create a sense of wonder within your artwork. Image via TLP Media Works.
Another aspect you can play with is opacity and distance. As in nature, clouds in the far distance don’t have as much contrast because of Rayleigh scattering. This is because there’s more atmosphere between you and the distant clouds. So, try adjusting the clouds in the very back to be more transparent. Make them less and less transparent until you get to the clouds that would be closest. This will render the illusion of distance and, ultimately, be more convincing.
Be Considerate of Size
It’s important to keep in mind the size of each cloud in terms of distance. Image via Bur_malin.
Another thing to consider is your sizing. Some incoming storms have large clouds that cover much of the sky. On some summer days, clouds are spaced out like cars driving down a road. So, be considerate of the sizing of your clouds. This will affect whether or not they’ll seem realistic. As with the opacity, bigger clouds might seem closer, but sometimes not. There may be a storm off in the distance.
Shape Your Clouds
Use the same cloud repeatedly by “warping” the various shapes. Image via Lyudmyla Kharlamova.
One last issue to consider is warping the shapes. If you want to reuse these clouds repeatedly in a composition, it’s worth the time to customize copies of the same clouds so it doesn’t get repetitive. Some useful tools are ones like “roughen” and “warp” in illustrator. You can also use tools like “twirl,” “pucker,” and “bloat” to slightly customize each shape, giving each their own custom characteristics.
Cover image via TLP Media Works.
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