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Recently I’ve been playing with wet on wet watercolor techniques. This watercolor technique works wonders with creating backgrounds, skies, water, and space. By wetting your work area first with water, you can create organic shapes and water movement that mimic things you would find in nature. Make sure you only wet areas you want the colors to flow with clean water. Or your painting will become muddy and washed out.
This is step one. Filling in the area with color. If you experience pooling you can either:
1. Mop it up with a brush/towel/paper
2. Tilt your paper to evenly distribute the water but risk muddying colors
3. Let it dry for a darker effect but risk getting bleeding
Experiment with different color combinations. You can look up galaxies, nebulas, and stars online but just experimenting works even better.
Possible color combos that worked:
1. Warm colors: reds/oranges/pinks/yellow
2. Cool colors: Blue/purple/green
3. Mix it up, if you add in just cool colors, you can add a pop/drop of red to really give it a pop.
Now we need to darken up the borders and around the organic color flows you have created. Let it dry slightly and then mix up very dark purple with a base of blue.
Fill in edges and then go back and get high paint to water ratios of your colors (orange) and dip your brush in those areas. Watch the color bleed into the dark purple. Add and experiment as desired.
Check out that bleeding action! It’s exactly what you want.
Now take a white gel pen/white gouache/white watered down acrylic paint and tap your brush with a pencil to get nice star variations. I even used silver calligraphy ink to add even more dimension to the stars. Not all stars are white. You can make them silver, gold, light blue, light yellow, cream or anything that works for you.
What I did next is scan some of my “space balls” into my computer, cut them out into perfect circles and arrange them as a print. You can check it out below.
Experiment and enjoy! I think this picture “tutorial” is okay but a video would definitely convey some of the technique better. Look forward to that.