Picture of Paint a Galaxy in 30 Minutes
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Spray paint art reminds me so much of hip hop dance, both originated from the streets, invented by people who had no formal training, yet both have the power to touch our souls.

2 weeks ago while traveling in lovely San Francisco, a forgotten dream of painting a galaxy was awakened within me, as I watched street artists painting a bright moon floating above a silhouette of Golden Gate Bridge.

I often painted clouds in art school, and know that it can take days or weeks to give a painting light, air and volume. So you can imagine my excitement when it finally clicked that I can, perhaps, paint a galaxy filled with light, air and volume in 30 minutes!

Not to mention the chance to act like a bad a$$ street artist!

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Step 1: Language of Spray Painting

Picture of Language of Spray Painting
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In dance, when you really practice and know the steps, you can forget the steps and become one with the music.

The purpose of this section is to try to clearly define some useful methods and techniques unique to spray painting, which has not been written about widely. Some I learned from watching in the streets and on YouTube, some I figured out and modified through my failed paintings.

The ultimate goal is to forget the techniques and fly with your imagination.

Here's a summary, and each is covered in more detail in the steps they are used.

  1. Soft Mist :after creating some uneven blobs of paint, I figured this out- it sounds so counter intuitive- instead of pressing the nozzle then start moving the paint can, do the opposite, get the can moving, then press the nozzle! This will create a even and natural looking mist, without a heavy starting point. See Step 3 & 5
  2. Newspaper :while the paint is wet, use newspaper to lift some of the paints and create a cool texture. Can be used to create planets, mountains, etc. See Step 4
  3. Covered Stencil : stencil touches the painting, creates defined shapes with sharp edges. See Step 4
  4. Raised Stencil :stencil is lifted a couple of inches from painting, creates defined shapes with soft edges. See Step 3 & 6
  5. Bounced Paint :spray not the painting, but a straight or curved surface perpendicular from the painting to create a very soft line. I used it to create the spiral galaxy in an earlier painting -see last 2 images in Step 7- but find method 4 easier and quicker. Still, this method has a lot of potential for sure!
  6. Star Clusters :spray some paint on a small piece of thick paper and tap with your fingers on the back of the paper to create clusters of stars. See Step 6
  7. Comet :a quick tap on the bottom of a upside down spray can will create a comet / shooting star. See Step 6
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thank you again blissfull. this will be a great gift for my 8 year old niece.
blissful2015 (author)  Superboy Prime27 days ago

hi superboy, that looks fabulous! thank you for sharing! =)

Bella991 month ago
The only thing missing (according to me) now is a TARDIS (time and relative dimensions in space) =^•^= meao
I love the tardis too. so I made my own version and threw in a tardis.
sorry here is the one with tardis
bella99 here is my version including your tardis. thank you so much for this instructible it was so fast and so much fun.
spylock1 month ago

Really nice,and fast.thanks for posting.

GillyJames1 month ago

just gorgeous! Well explained too. I know practice makes perfect but I do think you having amazing talent too!!!!

blissful2015 (author)  GillyJames1 month ago

thank you dear gilly! i truly believe everyone is super talented, some may not know it, yet! =)

Bella991 month ago
Ok, ok, ok..... Three words: OH MY GOD!!!!!!!! I mean my friends think I'm good at painting, but this..... It's sooooooo coooooool <3<3
blissful2015 (author)  Bella991 month ago

thank you bella, and i too, LOVE everything about relative dimensions! =)

Thank you ive seen this on youtube and you explained it , its great , cant wait to try

Leon-Xu1 month ago
blissful2015 (author)  Leon-Xu1 month ago

much 感谢!

Awesome! Amazing. Voted and hope you win :) Thanks for sharing this wonderful technique.

blissful2015 (author)  Passion Make1 month ago

thank you passion! you are so kind! =)

This is beautiful! I think that it truly looks like a real galaxy! Wonderful job=)

thank you so much loom! =)

mikes42221 month ago

I bought some paintings like this from a traveling artist at a fair, and I put one inside a shadow box and mounted some white "holiday" lights inside behind the painting. When lit, it gave the painting an even better look, as the illumination made it come alive. Sort of.

blissful2015 (author)  mikes42221 month ago

cool idea mike! maybe someone will invent spray-glow-paint, that would be awesome! =)

astack2291 month ago

Amazing, you make me believe that even I can paint a galaxy! Thanks!!!

blissful2015 (author)  astack2291 month ago

thank you so much for you kind words! have fun! =)

I've never commented on a lesson before, but this is awesome!

I can't wait to try this.

blissful2015 (author)  woodlandwhispers1 month ago

thank you so much! have lots of fun! =)

GustavG1 month ago

Reminds me of Bob Ross: The joy of paiting....

blissful2015 (author)  GustavG1 month ago

thanks for sharing gustav!

I've had best luck when spray painting something other than art to start the spray then cross the object then release the spray and do the same going back that helps keep runs at the beginning of the pass. Works better than intuitive? P.S I think I'll get My air brush out and try it. Acrylic paints & can mix colors except metallic, "No mask needed". Thank's for getting Me going with that expensive air brush equipment again. Definitely Favorited and voted +. ~(:- })={ > --- ]

blissful2015 (author)  snoopindaweb1 month ago

thank you snoop! that might be the best alternative to spray cans right now!

chabias1 month ago

This is awesome! Definitely got my vote.

blissful2015 (author)  chabias1 month ago

thanks chabias!

gabrieltaft1 month ago

Nice job! I like how you made the plannets! Beautiful

blissful2015 (author)  gabrieltaft1 month ago

i have to thank all the street artists for inventing this! =)

evacooper1 month ago

i once saw a guy do this on the street and was really amazed! it looks really cool.

balidaren1 month ago

Amazing, one vote from me

patsheldon1 month ago

oh man this is really cool!!

blissful2015 (author)  patsheldon1 month ago

thank you pat!

shazni1 month ago

WoW ! definitely vote worthy! I hope you win cause this is amazing!

blissful2015 (author)  shazni1 month ago

thank you shazni! you are so sweet! =)

Wow, that's beautiful!

Beautiful work and all without an air compressor spray gun--just spray cans! I've seen sidewalk sale art vendors sell similar paintings for a lot of money for a product that can be made in a short amount of time. Now, thanks to your 'ible, I can make my own.

Something I noticed about the comet drawings. Comets get a full tail when close to a sun or star and the tail generally flows away from the sun. The planets are illuminated by another light source and from a different angle to the comet. I would think that the dominant light source would be the sun which in the painting is off frame and the planet highlight and shadow should be responding to the same light source.

Another observation about the comet is the split tail. Some Comets obtain a split tail when one tail is a stream of dust and pebbles being left behind the comet's path, and the other tail occurs from light gasses being blown away from the solar winds. That tail tend to be a different color like blue or purple, a bit more subtle than the dust tail and being pushed away from the nucleus in a curved path at a different angle than the dust tail. These Comets are quite spectacular to behold.

Here again I commend you for your beautiful work. Cheers.
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