Galaxy Skies with Water-Based Markers | Jen Aranyi | Skillshare

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Galaxy Skies with Water-Based Markers

teacher avatar Jen Aranyi, Watercolor Nature Artist

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

3 Lessons (16m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Let's Paint!

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About This Class

In this quick mini-class, we'll learn how to create beautifully colored galaxy skies using water-based markers such as the Tombow Dual Brush Pens. We'll walk through sketching out a mountain scene, painting the skies with water and the brush pens, and then finishing it off with the mountain landscape, some trees, and stars to fill the sky.

I will talk through the materials, but a quick list of everything you'll need is below:

  • Paper (I'll be using Strathmore Cold-Press, 400 series)
  • Tombow Dual Brush Pens: Galaxy Set (or other water based markers)
  • Water Brush (Ohuhu Water brush or Pentel Aquash Brush are my top picks)
  • Pencil
  • Compass (to draw a circle)
  • Tombow Mono Pens (or Sakura Microns or other fine liner pens)
  • Uniball Signo White Gel Pen (or other white pen)

If you're looking for where to buy your materials, you'll find all of these on my amazon shopping list here. The majority, if not all of these though, can be found at your local arts and crafts stores.

Meet Your Teacher

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Jen Aranyi

Watercolor Nature Artist


Hi everyone! I'm Jen and I'm an artist, illustrator, graphic designer, and photographer! A lot of my art is focused around brightly colored, nature-inspired art...especially galaxy skies. I love vibrant colors and anything involving nature, so it was a natural path for my art to take. 

I'm incredibly excited to be able to share some of my process with you through Skillshare. My first video is now available, and (of course) its a tutorial for creating a watercolor galaxy sky!





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1. Intro: Hi, everyone. My name is Jen. And today I'll be sharing with you how to create galaxy skies with water based markers such as the Tom Bo dual brush pens. I hope you enjoy. 2. Materials: So let's go ahead and gather the materials you're going to need first. Of course, we're going to need paper. I'll be using Strack More watercolor paper there. Cold pressed 400 Siri's. You can use other brands if you have one that you prefer, but this is my personal favorite With Tom Bows. I'll be trimming the paper down to five inches square for this piece. So if you have larger paper sheets and want to cut them down, that works perfectly, too. Next, of course. You'll need your Tom boodle brush pens. I'll be using these 1st 4 colors in the galaxy set. If you don't have Tom bows, you should be able to do this with any other water based murder instead. Next, you'll need a compass to draw a perfect circle, a pencil and a white gel. For this, I'll be using a unit ball signal job. You'll also need a water brush. I've shown two options here that I typically use. You'll see me use the 1st 1 in this video, but any water brush with the water chamber wola. And finally, you'll need final enter pens to draw our landscape. I'm using the Tom Beaumont opens. But you can also use occur microns or any other fine liner you may have. Now that we've got all of our materials, let's get started. 3. Let's Paint!: so to start out, have gone ahead and cut my paper down to five inches by five inches and used my compass to draw a circle in the middle. Taking my pencil, we're going to start out and sketch the outlines of our mountain range that we're going to be putting in this piece. Yours can really look however you want if you want one tall mountain in the middle, if you want a range full of really small ones, you can kind of do whatever you feel like with this. Don't feel like you have to mimic the exact shape that I've drawn. Now we're going to start out with our Tom Bo brush pens, and the 1st 1 we're going to use is our pink, which is number 7 55 in the galaxy. Siri's so what you're gonna want to do is kind of squiggle your lines back and forth in a vertical pattern. But make sure that each stroke is not ending at the exact same place. What were essentially trying to do is make sure that we have a jagged edge instead of a straight line, so that it's a lot easier for us when we go to blend the colors together. Next up, we're going to grab our light blue, which is number 443 and do the same thing you'll want Toe overlap the blue onto the pink ever so slightly as you can see here again, making sure that we're not creating a street line at any point. We always want to keep this kind of rough edge to it. You will grab our third color, which is 5 55 This is the darker blue and again just moving across the same way. And there's really no rhyme or reason to how much you use of each color. If you want your piece toe, have a lot of pink and only a little bit of the blues and purples than do more pink. If you don't want any pink, feel free to leave that out entirely. If you want to swap it for completely different colors and the ones that I'm using, that's also perfectly fine. The last color will be using is 606 which is the dark purple in the set, and so you'll just take this and finish out the rest of our circle now let's move on to blending the colors together with our water brush. So take your water brush and make sure you filled the chamber completely with water and we're gonna start at the top and making sure to apply even pressure as you're squeezing the water out of the brush where it is going. Teoh basically wet the entire surface that we've just drawn on with our brush pens, and we're going to use the water to push the pigment around and blend everything together. You will probably want a paper towel or something to kind of block your water brush off on , because this is going to pick up a lot of the pigment. So if you're not trying to pull all of the purples and blues down into the pinks, you are gonna want to clean your brush off a little bit. And all you have to do for that is just squeeze a little bit of the water onto a paper towel or any sort of fabric that you have and just blot it until it's coming out clear again, because you can see what is continuing to blend everything down. Kind of going in this soft circular motion as I'm blending this again is gonna help to avoid the harsh lines and make sure that everything has this soft, hazy blend to it when we're finished now, using the water to brazen with pink down into the area that I had left white before. This is again a personal preference for me. You're more than welcome to bring your color all the way down. When you're filling it in with the brush pens, I tend to leave a little bit of space. Just so, the area of sky that comes right up against the mountains is just ever so slightly later, then the rest of the sky Just continue again. Have fun with this. This is not meant to be a super rigid and strict process. Every piece that you do like this is going to come out a little different. That's just the nature of working with a water based medium. Things are going to continue to move around the paper even after you're done, so don't be afraid. She just keep putting water down, keep pushing things around. You'll see I keep going back up into the blues because I think oh, well, maybe I'll bring some of the clues down into the pinks. Give it this more like soft purple e color. It's entirely up to you. And nothing you do in this is going to be wrong. Some colors may not turn out as pretty as the others, but the more you keep going with this in, the more you just play around with the color combinations in the amount of water you want to use, the Morial kind of find the place that you want to be in creating three galaxy scribes that you like. So you will notice. I'm using a lot of water in this. I find that a lot of water is gonna really help again to get that seamless blend between the colors and make sure that I am softening those lines so that you don't see them anymore . So as the upper area of my paper search to dry, I keep going back into it and activating it again just so that I can drag those colors back down into the bottom colors into that pink, and I will go back to this one little corner continuing to blend all the way down, stopping and taking a look every now and again just to make sure that you like where it's going that you don't see any harsh lines. If you do, then you can still go back in and continue to blend with the water until you really gotten it to where the colors look seamless together. So I'm just continuing to bounce around the sky, kind of adding more water to areas that I think could be blended better. Kind of dragging some of those blues down. I decided I really wanted this piece to be kind of a darker color, with just the hint of the pinks but the pink not as vibrant as the original color that comes directly out of the pen. So I'm really using the water on the paper to blend the colors together as I'm working. So now that we're done blending our sky together, you're gonna want to let this sit for probably 15 minutes to let everything fully dry. Once it's completely dry to the touch, we will go back in with our fine liner pens and at the landscape. Okay, so now that are sky is fully dry, we're going to go in with our fine liner pens and start drawing in our landscape. So first, I'm going to take the largest tip pen that I have. This is the 05 and we're going to do the top line of the mountains, so follow along where the edge of your pain is and just draw a single thick line. Next, you're going to take the next smaller, which is gonna be the 03 and start to draw in the shadowy edges of the mountains. So you're gonna come from the left side of each of these peaks and kind of create this jagged kind of your regular shape coming off. So this is to create that shadowy side. Once you finish those, we're going to take our one and draw in these textured lines, so you're gonna want them to be again a little irregular. You don't want all of them to connect. You can have them broken in different spots. They can be wiggly. This is just creating the texture that sits in the shadow of the mountains. We're going to go into the white parts next and add some texture and dot working there, too. But so just fill in all of these with your lines. You don't want the lines to run at the same angle as the left edge of the people. So think about all of your lines running parallel and same thing with this. We're gonna add some little lines and dots to create the texture in the highlight part of the mountains. And again, you're gonna want your lines to run in the same or similar direction as the right edge of the peak. So think about everything kind of following the same angles. Now we've switched back to the O fives. We're going to draw the circle around our entire piece, so you'll want to rotate your paper every so often, which will help you keep more of a straight line. As you're tracing around this circle, move slowly and you're going to pivot your hand at your wrist. Don't try and move your hand around. Just place it in the middle and then pivot. And then when you can't pivot any further, you'll turn your paper and continue. That's gonna be the easiest way to draw the circle and go slow. You don't have to rush this it. The faster you go, the more likely you are to accidentally stray off of your original line. So don't worry. Take a much need again with this 05 We're gonna add in some little baby trees at the bottom of our mountain range. So you will draw a line up for the trunk of the tree and then wiggle your pen back and forth with a slightly upward motion towards the end to create each of the branches So the tops of the trees are going to be smaller and your strokes will get wider as you go towards the bottom. Think about the shape of a tree being somewhat of a triangular shape. So you want the top to be very skinny and then gets wider as goes down. So finally we want to go on ad in our stars. So you're gonna want to pick up your white gel pen. In this case, we've got the unit ball signal white jump in and you'll start to dot in all of your little stars, you can have as many or as little as you want. You could have one big star in the middle. You could have a big milky way running across. I like to just kind of put a bunch of random stars down and then cluster a few of them together and then go back in and adds larger ones where it feels like it could have some brighter stars. But again, there's no real wrong way to do this. It there are a 1,000,000 stars in the sky, and depending on where you are in the world, you might see one. You might see 1,000,000. You might not see any. But there are so many stars that are everywhere in the sky, so yours can have as many or as little as you want. I'm just gonna go back in and add some little find clusters. Think of these as little Galaxies, far, far away. And with that, we have successfully created a galaxy sky using water burst markers. Thank you so much for joining me. I hope you had a lot of fun and I can't wait to see your completed pieces. Thanks.