How to paint a watercolor galaxy

 

If you ever wondered How to paint a galaxy with watercolors, then you might want to look at the pictures below. I made a step-by-step follow along description of my process. 

I had painted a few of such galaxies and posted some of them on Instagram. It seemed that they were liked a lot, so here you go, a little insight.
There are, of course, many other ways to paint a galaxy with watercolors, but the following pictures are showing the way I do it. I tried to take as many pictures as I thought might be of interest while I was painting one of those little galaxies. If you prefer a video, you are welcome to hop over to my you-tube channel - I started to upload a few videos and one of them is a short video on how I paint a galaxy (a very small one ;)) 

Have your watercolors,
watercolor paper (I like the Canson Watercolor Pad for my sketches and paintings),
a medium size brush (I used a #6 here),
a container with clean water and
a rag or paper towel ready.

Sketch a circle with pencil, if you wish or just fill an area of your favorite shape – a blob, a square, an octagon. Always remember: There are no rules!

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Start with a brush loaded with water – add water in ‘blobs’ on your area. Then load your brush with watercolor (pick any color, I used Paynes Gray
from Winsor & Newton)

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It’s spectacular to see the paint spread – I’m excited to watch that every time! Just let it go it’s own way…

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Continue to wash your brush, and add more watery ‘blob’ areas (the brush doesn’t have to be super clean, it’s OK if you have leftover pigment for the next brush strokes still in the brush). I do it in a way that these areas do not connect at first.

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…add more pigment…

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…to all wet areas… I just go around and add where I feel it needs color.

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Then comes another fun part: Connect the separate areas with a brush stroke (brush loaded with clear water). Again, very exciting to watch – you never know what the pigments will do 

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Repeat all that until your surface is covered. Keep on adding more pigment to the still wet areas. Use very dark pigment for sure, as this is supposed to help to make the impression of deep space… but otherwise just experiment and use your favorite colors.

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Sometimes it happens that there’s too much paint puddling in some areas. You can try getting if off with a paper towel (but it’s not necessary – the paint will dry eventually ;))

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Now you could add salt to achieve special effects. I do this sometimes, but I prefer to add a few clear water drops here and there (best if the paint is still wet). I like the effect that this delivers after everything is dry.

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BTW – while I was preparing everything, my younger son came by and asked what I was doing. I showed him and he wanted to have a go. (He was 7 years old at that time.)

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I helped a bit with the outline to finish his galaxy up.
His galaxy turned out quite well, don’t you think?! :)

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After everything is dry, you can add glitter, white ink, letters, splashes… whatever you feel like.
Now go on, try it! …and don’t forget to share your watercolor galaxy, I’d love to see it!

Cheers,

Jana

PS.: here are a few watercolor sets I like. I use a mix of brands, I’m still trying to find my favorites. I like Winsor & Newton and Schmincke Horadam
for sure.
If you’re just starting out, the Winsor & Newton Sketchers Pocket Box
is nice as well as the Koi Watercolors .
If you like more pigment, then go for the professional grade watercolors, though they are a bit pricy.
I guess this should be all in a new post about my favorite art supplies! I let you go now… paint paint paint!