How to Make a Space Painting




Introduction: How to Make a Space Painting

For the past few years I have been interested in space and the cosmos, so a few days ago when I was doing some painting I tried painting the solar system. After a few tries I found a technique that I liked, so I decided to make an Instructable on it.


  • Heavy paper (I am using watercolor paper)
  • Acrylic paint (I am using Liquitex Basics)
  • Small containers to mix paint in
  • Some sort of stirring stick
  • A medium sized paintbrush
  • Thin paper(You can use scrap paper)
  • Various sized circular lids you don't mind getting paint on
  • Water

Step 1: Preparing the Supplies

If you only have basic paint colors than use the small containers to mix orange, green, and purple (red and yellow makes orange, blue and yellow makes green and red and blue makes purple). Once you are done you should have red, blue, yellow, green, purple, orange, black and white. If your paint is thicker than you would like you can stir in some water using the stirring sticks until you have the consistency that you want. Then put some water in a jar to wash your brush in and make sure that you paint on a surface that you are okay with getting paint on.

Step 2: Painting the Main Planet

Start by picking a round lid. The size of your lid will be the size of the planet. Next choose two colors for your main planet. I recommend purple and green or blue and white. Then paint and overlay your two chosen colors on a piece of heavy paper in an area bigger than the lid you chose. You can also add some orange or blue splotches to the planet if you want. I like to paint the main planet on the edge of the paper so only two thirds of it is visible so there is more space in the center of the paper for other things like planets and stars. Put more of the darker colored paint on the side of the planet that is farthest away from the center. This will give the planet shadows and make it look more realistic.

Next, crumple up a piece of the thin paper or newspaper and once you think it is crumpled enough unfold it so it is now a piece of paper with many fold lines in it. Now place that piece of paper on the planet you just made and press the paper into the paint. This will mix and give the paint a cool texture. If your planet doesn't satisfy you than you could add a little more paint to places you think may need it or press the paper onto the paint again. Once you are happy the result, you can place your chosen lid rim side down onto the planet. You don't want any blank paper under the lid only paint.

Step 3: Painting the Sun

Painting the sun is like painting the planets, the only difference is you use orange and yellow paint and you don't put more darker paint to one side of it. I would also recommend you use a lid half the size of the planet and make sure that you use a clean part of the crumpled paper to add texture to the sun.

Step 4: Painting the Last Planet (Optional)

Now that you are done the main planet and the sun, think about whether or not you want a third planet. If you don't, then skip this step, but if you do, keep reading. The color options for the third planet are the same as for the main planet: blue and white or purple and green. I would recommend you do a different color scheme than the main planet. I would also recommend you use a lid smaller than the lid you used for the sun. Now repeat what you did for the main planet but paint the third planet closer to the middle of the paper than you painted the first planet, and add the shadows/darker paint on the half of the planet that is facing away from the sun.

Step 5: Painting the Background

Once you are satisfied with the sun and two planets, you can now work on painting the background. Start by painting everything that is not under the lids black. I suggest that while painting around the lids you press on them with your finger to stop them from moving. Once you have painted everything black you can paint a light coat of purple, green, red, and blue to add some color and make it look more like a galaxy. Next, you will want to add enough water to the white paint so it is runny and has a water like consistency. Then dip the tip of your pointer finger into the paint and flick the painting. The lighter you flick the bigger the stars will be but streaks of paint will form on the painting if you flick the paper too hard while there is to much paint on your finger. I tend to use most of the paint on my finger for big stars and then I paint small stars with the remaining paint.

Step 6: Revealing the Planets

Now that you are done the background you can do the final step: take the lids off of the planets and sun. The lids might be glued to the paper a little due to the paint around the edges drying so you may have to pull the lids harder than normal to get them off.

Now the paintings are basically done. Once they dry, you can put them in a picture frame and hang them on the wall or make a new one because you have some idea to make it better.

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    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    2 years ago

    I love the colorful planets :)


    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you