Our galaxy has captured artists’ imaginations with its vibrant contrast between the deep tones of the night sky and the white light of stars. Galaxy-inspired art is everywhere, from our clothes to watercolor speed paintings. If you want to make your own night sky painting, this tutorial will get you started.
Time Required: 45 Minutes
- Medium, angled paintbrush (sable)
- 2 thin, pointed paintbrushes (sable)
- Water cup or bowl
- Hairdryer (optional)
- White acrylic paint
- Blue, Green, black and purple watercolor paint
- White watercolor paper (any variety)
- Tape (something that peels easily like masking, painting or washi tape)
How to Make Your Own Night Sky Painting
What I love about this tutorial is that can be customized for your own creativity. I show you how to set up the basics. But, the rest is your design.
Prepare the Area
Gather your supplies and tape down your watercolor paper.
To get a true watercolor effect, add a light layer of water to your paper. Do this quickly to keep the paper from absorbing too much water.
Create a Blue Base
Add a layer of light blue watercolor as your base. Swirl it lightly to create organic troughs in the tones.
Add Turquoise, Green, and Purple
Add sections of turquoise, green and purple. Don’t let them overlap as this will muddy the tones. Keep the purple toward the outer edges — just like the night sky!
Meld Using More Water
Add drops of water between the different colors to encourage a natural mixing. They’ll blend gently with some feathering. Let the feathering occur naturally because this will resemble clouds.
Allow the paint to dry thoroughly. If you don’t want to wait, use a small hairdryer on a low setting. Just keep it far from the paper so that it won’t bloe the paint out of place.
Using white acrylic paint, add dots all over your night sky. These can vary in size — similar to how we see nearby and distant stars.
Add Starbursts and Shooting Stars
Have a little fun by adding a few shooting stars and starbursts. Make small crosses with the tip of your brush for a start burst. Create shooting stars by making a “C” shape with a dot on one end.
Allow this paint to dry thoroughly. You can use a small hairdryer on low if needed.
Paint Tree Trunks
Add tree trunks to your painting using a thin brush. Start with the corners and the centers of the line to help you create perspective. You want everything to angle toward the center — as if you were standing in the middle and looking up at the trees.
Add Branches and Details
Add branches to your trees. Make them thicker at the bottom to force the perspective. These parts are closer to the viewer than the treetops or the stars.
Show Me Your Night Sky Painting DIY
Once you finish your painting, you’ll see how the trees angle in as if you are standing on the floor of the forest. You can imagine laying on the ground and looking up at shooting stars.
Now that you have the general composition of this painting, you can see how easy it is to customize.
- Use orange, red and yellow for a sunset and pink, lavender and magenta for a sunrise.
- Try a blue sky with white clouds and green trees.
- Replace the trees with skyscrapers or houses to change up the scenery for the city.
I hope you enjoyed this little painting tutorial. If you make one of these, be sure to add a link in the comments or tag me on Instagram. I’d love to see how you interpret it!