For Valentine’s Day, I made a galaxy painting with a motivational quote for Juan. I wanted to gift Juan with something homemade and meaningful and as he has a fascination with everything to do with space, I thought a galaxy painting would be something he would like! I chose the quote:
“Stars can’t shine without darkness”
because we were both going through some tough times and just needed to have that extra motivation to try and stay positive.
Also, I’d been meaning to try my hand at a galaxy painting for a long time. I’d watched so many video tutorials about galaxy painting but never got round to actually making my own. I’m obsessed with the aesthetic! Anyways, there are plenty of tutorials online on how to do galaxy paintings but here is my addition to that never-ending pool of them.
- Acrylic paints
- Canvas – A long time ago, I’d bought a pack of 2 cheap cardboard-backed canvases from The Works and I still had 1 left over so this was a great way to use it up!
- Easel – Optional but I recently bought an easel for really cheap from Tiger and I was so excited to try it out!
- Palette – I used an overturned plastic box that previously housed Angel Slices (yum)
Time to paint:
I tried to follow Joan Pons Art‘s speed painting video when I made my galaxy painting attempt. In the video, she covers the whole canvas in black first, let’s it dry, then continues to add colour. From my own experience, the acrylic paints are so opaque that they cover the black anyway so I think next, instead of wasting the paint, I would maybe just paint the edges black first and then work in more black later on. After I painted the coloured swirls, I kept needing to top up the black anyway!
I didn’t have the same colours as Joan so I tried to mix a pink and a baby blue by mixing in a drop of colour into big blobs of white. I sort of followed the positioning of the colours at first but as I went on, I just sort of let the colours go where they wanted to. Just go with the flow! I mixed some purples with the red and blue as well, and added in darker variations of the colour. Once that was done, I worked in LOTS of white paint to bring out the nebulae. You’d think you would use more black in a galaxy painting than white but actually, you use a whole lot more white!
Next is to add in the stars. I started off doing the flicky brush technique with some slightly watered down white paint (out of the tube was too heavy to flick). It created a really beautiful starry effect but I found that once it dried, it didn’t really show up. Later on, I used my paintbrush to dot some extra stars where the paint had darkened, as well as some cross shapes for the brighter stars.
I found this quote on what seemed like a tumblr image and I thought it was perfect for a galaxy background! I opted for a cursive brush lettering and then a contrasting font for “shine” as I wanted it to be a bit bigger so that the quote would be aligned. It didn’t turn out exactly aligned or centred as I had wanted but I thought it still looked OK. I tried to make the “shine” look more equally spaced by filling in the sides of the letters. I think the SHINE looked a little too far away from the cursive text too so I added white dots around it to make it stand out more and to create the illusion that it was all closer together.
Juan absolutely love the painting when I gave it to him! He really appreciated the message that the painting has and I hope it keeps him motivated and positive when he faces all his upcoming challenges!