It’s the official first day of Spring, and I don’t know about you but I am SO ready to be rid of the bitter cold (not that spring in the UK is any less chilly). Yesterday, I spent the whole day creating some pretty out of this world art as gift’s for two of my closest friends down in London. So, naturally, I documented the entire process to share with all of you. Take a look!
Before I start any painting, I always make sure I have a set colour palette in mind, this way, I’m not tempted to slap every colour of the rainbow onto the canvas. I find sticking with three/four main colours to begin with works best before moving on to adding more variants. The acrylics I used were the Liquitex Basics from Cass Art – as a pack of 48 for just under £30 they’re a steal!
The colours I chose to work with were, obviously black for the background, but also different shades of pink, purple & blue. I used some Winsor & Newton inks, also from Cass Art, to give a more fluid effect to the nebula. To begin with, I perused google for a reference picture of the prettiest galaxy I could find, thinking it would help me to produce a convincing recreation – but in reality I just made it up as I went along, and let the paint move to make it’s own patterns.
Instead of painting solid black onto the background, try to immerse a few dark blue or purple tones in order to give the illusion of more depth. From there, anything goes, just pick your colours and slap them onto the canvas. Before the paint dried, I took a damp sponge and blended out the hard edges of the paint splodges to morph them into clouds. The trick for creating a realistic galaxy, is patience. It’s a layering process that requires the will to put down your paintbrush and resist the urge to overwork the paint.
Once you’re happy with the first couple of layers, introduce some ink. You’re going to want to take a clean brush and paint with water where you want the ink to move. Once you’ve laid down your water template, add the ink and watch the amazing effect it gives! Mixing the pink and blue inks was great on it’s own, but adding some white acrylic to the centre of the ink pool illuminates it in such a unique way. You’ll need to do quite a few layers of this too, and in between you may want to take your sponge and dab some highlights to places where you’ll want lots of stars.
Finally – STARS! I think you guys will all know this trick, take a watered down mixture of white paint on your brush and just flick it onto the canvas – a lot. By the end of it my wrist was aching, gotta make sure you get those trillions of stars in! Whilst the entire thing was still wet, I decided I wasn’t going to stop there. Something was missing.
G L I T T E R ! !
I sprinkled (heavily) glitter onto the ink and the finished effect looks stunning!! Like real twinkling stars.
Both of my friends, as you may have guessed, love Harry Potter. So I went with the classic Hogwarts castle and the Deathly Hallows symbol 🙂 I painted the foreground using only white paint, but due to the intensity of the ink in the background, it stained the white – happy accident because it looks great (I think).
I hope you all like what I’ve created! If you decide to give the galaxy creating a go, please let me know how it goes! Happy Spring everyone!