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.
New Gamboge: Winsor & Newton | Daniel Smith
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
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
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
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!
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