colorful abstract night sky watercolor

Paint a Gorgeous Watercolor Night Sky: Easy Beginners Tutorial

Let’s paint a gorgeous watercolor night sky! This idea could look great on a greetings card or on your wall. In this easy beginners tutorial, you will learn how to create a beautiful night sky using just one bamboo brush and a little spatter of white from an old toothbrush.

Materials List


Ultramarine Blue: Winsor & Newton | Daniel Smith

Cerulean Blue: Winsor & Newton | Daniel Smith

Prussian Blue: Winsor & Newton | Daniel Smith

Alizarin Crimson: Winsor & Newton | Daniel Smith

Paynes Gray: Winsor & Newton | Daniel Smith | Daniel Smith

New Gamboge: Winsor & Newton | Daniel Smith

Dioxazine Purple: Winsor & Newton | Daniel Smith


Princeton round detail brush 9650R-2 Buy from Amazon
Rigger Brush Buy from Amazon


Arches Watercolor Paper Block, Cold Press, 9″ x 12″, 140 pound Buy from Amazon


Adjustable desktop easel Buy From Amazon
Misting spray bottle Buy from Amazon
Easy release painters masking tape (Optional) Buy from Amazon

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Watercolor Night Sky: Easy Beginners Tutorial

Total Time: 20 minutes

Step 1: Separate Colors

Adjust your easel so that your paper is at a 30 degree angle, this will ensure that your paint mostly flows downwards. Separate your watercolor paints into different palette wells. Keeping them separate like this ensures that they stay vibrant looking and avoids having them mix and turning muddy. Muddiness tends to occur when complementary colors mix. For more information on this and color mixing in general, have a look at this post.

For this example I’ve used Cadmium Red, Pthalo Blue, New Gamboge, and Dioxazine Purple but any combination of bright colors will work. Paint loose wet Patches using your bamboo brush, don’t worry too much about creating a perfect blend, as we will use a spray bottle to encourage the colors to mix in the next step.

Step 2: Blend Colors With Spray

watercolor night sky - water spray

After you have painted some loose wet areas of color using your bamboo brush, allow them to run and blend. There’s no need to worry about creating a perfect blend, simply spritz with a fine mist from a spray bottle to encourage the colors to mix even more. This will create a beautiful, blended effect. Allow the paint to dry completely before moving on to the next step

Step 3: Paint Tree Silhouettes

watercolor night sky - adding trees

Create a strong opaque dark blue from Paynes Gray and Prussian Blue. Using your bamboo brush, paint silhouettes of tree shapes underneath the night sky. I’ve left some small unpainted highlights among the trees and on the ground to indicate reflected moonlight and background sky showing through.

Step 4: Spattering Gouache

watercolor night sky - paint spatter

Squeeze out some white gouache or Titanium White watercolor, I prefer to use gouache for this as it is more opaque than watercolor. Take an old toothbrush and flick the bristles spattering the sky with small flecks of paint. This will create the effect of stars in the night sky.

Step 5: Adding Details

If you want to add more details to the sky, use a small round brush to add larger stars and small lines radiating out to suggest a twinkling effect. This step is optional but can add a nice touch to your painting.

There you have it – a gorgeous watercolor night sky! I chose to leave this composition open with no defined edges but alternatively you could use masking tape to create a border and then paint up to the edges of it. Experiment with different border shapes such as a triangle or a diamond. This tutorial is perfect for beginners who want to experiment with watercolor painting. With just a few simple steps, you can create a beautiful piece of art that you can be proud of. So grab your materials and get painting!

Useful Links

Simply Watercolor Ebook

6 Easy Watercolor Painting Ideas

Paint an Easy Winter Watercolor Scene

Paint an Easy Impressionist Watercolor Landscape Scene

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