Introduction: How to Paint a Galaxy and Mountains

This is a super simple, foolproof way to create a galaxy scene with a mountain silhouette. This is a perfect project for beginners who are looking for something fun, but not too difficult to paint! Most of the items can be substituted if you don't have them, so feel free to improvise!


  • Canvas
  • Paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Palette
  • Pencil

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Here are all the items you will need, as well as some options for substituting different materials!

  • Canvas: You can use any type or size of canvas for this project. If you don't have a canvas handy, you can also paint this on a piece of wood, or even a piece of paper.
  • Paints: Use your favorite paints! In this Instructable I used acrylic paints that can be found at any craft store. I used pink, blue, teal, navy blue, purple, black, and a pearl white, but use your favorite colors or anything you have on hand. It helps if they all mix well together, so that there are no muddy colors when you are blending the colors together later on.
  • Paintbrushes: Any paintbrush will do! When you create the stars, it is helpful to have a brush with stiff bristles, but its alright if your brush has soft bristles.
  • Palette: I used an actual paint palette, but anything can be used to hold your paint. Ex: plate, bowl, piece of cardboard or paper, etc.
  • Pencil

Step 2: Sketch Your Mountains

On the front of the canvas, sketch where you want your mountains to be! This will help you see what areas need to be covered in a galaxy and which areas can be left blank. This doesn't have to be perfect, so just take your pencil and roughly sketch the position and size of each mountain!

Step 3: Paint Your Border

If you are painting this project on a canvas or piece of wood, you will want to paint the borders of your canvas. If you are painting on a piece of paper, you can skip this step entirely!

Cover all of your canvas/wood border with the black paint. This will make the edges look nice and fit in with the rest of the painting. Don't worry if some of the black ends up on the front of the canvas, because we will simply paint over this later! Let this paint dry completely before beginning the next step.

Step 4: Galaxy Background

Now its time for the fun part! Grab all of the colors you collected, and put some of each color onto your palette. You can also use any of your leftover black paint from when you painted the borders.

Remember how you sketched out your mountains? You will want to paint over these lines a bit so that you make sure to get all of your galaxy area painted. Your galaxy will still leave a rough outline shape like mine did, so you will still be able to see roughly where you wanted your mountains.

Now take whichever color you would like to be dominant and spread it in streaks around your board. I chose purple.

Then, take another color and create more streaks alongside the first color. Here, I put magenta on the canvas and then blended it with the purple if they touched at all. Keep in mind that blending doesn't have to be perfect! It can look really cool to have bright, bold streaks of different colors, so blend as much/little as you would like!

Continue to add these two colors, and begin to throw in some of the others! I used blue, teal, navy, and black for this part. Add these colors and more of the originals until you're comfortable with how it looks!

Now let it all dry.

Step 5: Stars and Moon

Grab your white paint (or pearl, gold, or silver) and get ready to paint your stars and moon!

Before you start, you'll want to take an object with a circular base (like the solo cup I used) and trace a circle wherever you would like your moon to be. Now, paint the inside of the circle with one of the above colors. You may need a second coat like mine did, so make sure to wait for the first coat to completely dry before adding a second coat.

Now its time for the stars! Grab your brush (if you have one with rough/thick bristles that will work best) and dip it in the paint color you chose for the moon. Take your finger and pull the bristles back and let go! This should cause the paint to flick onto your galaxy background, creating a random pattern of stars. Repeat this step as many times as you need, until you are happy with how your stars look! Be careful of splattering the paint though! This part can be a little messy, so make sure that you are splattering the paint where you want it.

Step 6: Mountain Silhouette

Lets paint some mountains!

Now that your galaxy has dried, you will probably have a rough outline of where your mountains were. If you would like to draw these out again, feel free to grab your pencil and outline them! I didn't do this step, but It can be easier to have a penciled in shape to paint.

Take your black paint and paint your mountains! It is easiest to outline the tops and ridges of the mountains before filling them in with paint. I did mine in sections, but you can do this process in whichever way you prefer! Once you have everything outlined with the black paint, fill it all in. Once this layer dries, you can go back and add a second coat if you cans till see some other colors underneath.

Once the mountains are done, let it dry! You're almost finished!

Step 7: Finishing Touches

If you would like a glossy finish, you can use a varnish to cover and seal it! If you like the way it looks without a glossy finish, feel free to leave it as is!

I used a varnish that I simply spread evenly over the front and sides of my canvas!

You're all done! Great job! I hope you found this project fun and easy to follow. Enjoy your new painting!

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