How To Create A Realistic Galaxy Painting, With Acrylics | Anna To | Skillshare

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How To Create A Realistic Galaxy Painting, With Acrylics

teacher avatar Anna To, Artist | Designer | Creator

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

11 Lessons (24m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Practice

    • 4. Geometrical Border

    • 5. Painting The Sky

    • 6. Creating Galaxy Pt 1

    • 7. Creating Galaxy Pt 2

    • 8. Creating Stars

    • 9. Silhouettes

    • 10. Details and Highlights

    • 11. Conclusion

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About This Class

In this class I will show you how to paint a realistic, galaxy setting using some fun and unique techniques, that will completely bring your painting to life. You will be surprised at how easy it is!

This class is great for all levels!

We will be painting with acrylics, and I will also show you how to add silhouettes against your galaxy sky, as well as create your piece with an optional modern twist, by creating a cool geometrical border.

Meet Your Teacher

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Anna To

Artist | Designer | Creator


Hello! I'm Anna. I love design, art, interior decorating and DIY. I have been drawing and painting since I was very little, and loved doing crafts or creating/building things from scratch. As my parents are both talented and creative individuals, I must have picked it up from them. 

I went to school and became a graphic designer and video editor, and eventually had a family. As life progressed I stopped doing as much art and my creativity went down. As we all know, sometimes life gets very busy or motivation and inspiration is lacking. When I started to teach painting classes for paint events, for a local company, it pushed me to create again, and started to give me more purpose to do art. And so, I thought it would also be great to ... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi everyone. My name is Anna. I'm an artist, graphic designer and I love all things interior design and DIY. We'll be painting with acrylics to create a realistic looking galaxy piece with a modern twist. I will take you through the supplies that you're going to need for the project, as well as show you the steps and techniques for blending, layering, and creating a geometrical quarter. At the end of this class, you'll be able to paint your own amazing galaxy. With all the other combined elements, you'll have an awesome finished piece. This class was super fun and I hope you'll enjoy it. See you there. 2. Supplies: For this class, we are using acrylic paints. I have some various colors of blue here, and then we need white, black, and then I'm also using purple. You can use pink if you want, or whatever other colors that you want. Depending on what size of canvas or paper that you're going to use, you need a large flat brush for the background, a medium flat brush, small flat brush, and then a couple small round brushes for finer details. You are going to need a mixing palette as well as water and paper towel, of course, and if you're choosing to do your geometrical border for your piece, you're going to need some masking tape or painter's tape, as well as a ruler and a pencil. You are going to need a sponge. Here I have a synthetic sponge that I'm using with smaller and larger pores, it's just smoother, so I prefer to use the synthetic sponge for this type of project. You are also going to need some tissue paper. It doesn't matter what color, but a few sheets of tissue paper. For the project, you can use either a canvas or you can use watercolor paper, a thicker type that is about 140 pound, so that it's nice and thick and it doesn't curl as much with the acrylic. I'm going to be using a 16 by 20 canvas for the class, although you can use whatever size of paper canvas that you like, you will also need some scrap paper for practicing as well. 3. Practice: We are going to practice using our sponge, so I'm going to show you how we're going to apply this technique to our galaxy piece. I'm going to grab some paint with my sponge, you want to make sure that your sponge is fairly dry, and then I'm just going to dab it on my paper and create a random form. So I'm constantly dabbing as I'm moving upwards or outwards, and then I'm going to grab some blue and apply it on my purple. As you can see I'm blending it or layering it over the top of my purple. This technique is mainly just a lot of dabbing. As my sponge becomes less saturated with paint, you can see how it creates a nice fade as I move outwards from my main form. Now, I'm adding some lighter blue and dabbing it on top and just blend it in a little bit. Now, I'm going to show you that tissue paper technique. So what you're going to want to do is scrunch up a sheet or two of tissue paper, just so you get a lot of nice crinkled edges. After I find an edge that I want, I'm going to dip that edge into some paint, I'm going to dab it a little bit on the side and we're going to dab it on the paper, and you can smudge it and twist it to give it some extra texture. Let me grab a new edge here, and you can already see how the texture with the tissue paper is different than the texture of the sponge. Once you've practiced and you feel comfortable with using the sponge and the tissue paper, doing a little bit of layering and blending, then we can move on to the next step. 4. Geometrical Border: Now we are going to prepare our canvas or paper if you're using watercolor paper. I'm going to mark off where I want my geometrical border to be. I'm going to have it come up at seven inches and I'm just going to mark the center of my canvas. From there I'm going to connect my points to create the border. There now I have a triangle shape. If you want to, you can make a diamond shape or a full triangle or whatever other geometrical shape that you want. I'm just going to be doing the bottom area of my canvas. Doing this gives the modern twist to the painting and it has an effect of negative space. Now that I have my lines marked off where I'm creating my geometrical border, I'm going to use my masking tape and put it right along the edge of my pencil lines. 5. Painting The Sky: Now I'm going to start off with my larger fat brush. I'm just going to start with my black paint. I'm going to paint across the top with my black. You want to make sure for the background that you apply your paint on quite thick leaves so that the canvas or paper doesn't show through. As they start getting further down, I'm going to start adding a darker blue color. I'm going to mix a little bit in with my black. It's a very dark bluish gray color. I'm going to start adding that because we're going to create a blend and transition to a very light blue towards the bottom. In order to make a nice transition or gradient, you want to make sure that you overlap a new color on the previous shade, so give it a nice blend. You can always go over top with your brush and re-blend, and add more color if you need to. As I'm going down my canvas, the blue is getting lighter and brighter. Then I start adding white to my blue so that it gets even lighter. As I get towards the bottom, I'm adding even more white. I have a nice transition from black all the way to a really light blue at the bottom. Now I'm going to let that dry and then we're going to come back and do the next step. 6. Creating Galaxy Pt 1: Now that my Canvas is done drawing, I'm going to start layering my Skype. We're going to work our way upwards with some of the color. I'm going to take my small flat brush and I'm going to mix a blue color close to around this shade down here. I'm going to set my brush aside and I'm going to take my sponge. You want to have a fairly dry sponge. Mine is still a little bit damp because I rinsed it out earlier, but it should be fine as long as it's not too wet. I'm going to take my sponge and just dab it in my color. If you get too much paint on it, just dab it somewhere on the side to get the excess off. I'm going to start from about here. I'm just going to dab it upwards. I'm going to twist my sponge as I work my way up. I'm pulling parts of the color and blending it upward. Now, they added a little bit of black to my mixture to make it a little bit more gray. As I get about halfway to three-quarters of my Canvas, I am going to darken my color. I'm going to start making the formation of my main Galaxy. Again, I'm twisting my sponge around in different directions just to vary patterns. You can smudge it to a little bit if you want. As I pull outwards from my main line and just dabbing later and later with less paint and then it just fades outward. You can really do whatever shape you want in the Galaxy. As I get further out on the sides here, I'm just going to dab with darker paint, it's a very dark blue. It's going to look more faint, not as bright. I'm going to fix it up a little bit down here. I'm just going to be layering on top of them adding brighter blue colors. 7. Creating Galaxy Pt 2: Now we're going to start adding some purple. I'm just adding my purple in random areas. For the areas of the galaxy that I want to highlight and brighten, I'm going to apply a very light almost white mixture of grayish blue color, and just blend it in. Let's take my tissue paper and pamper it up. I'm going to take an edge and dip it into my paint, and I'm just going to start to form it on my top layer, where I want the highlight to stand out. I'm just going to the area, just dab it on where I want it to show or stand out the most. You can see how the tissue paper creates almost a veiny pattern. When I'm adding the highlight on my purple, I'm using a really light purple mixture of paint. So I'm just going to keep alternating between my sponge and my tissue paper. The nice thing about acrylic, is that if you make a mistake or there's some areas that you don't like, you can always go over top with more paint, and correct it. You're just going over top and blending it a little bit better, bringing it outwards, and I'm squishing my sponge like this, as I'm doing this. So you can do as much or as little of this as you want. If you find that you put too much white on top, or it's just coming out too bright, then you can always go over top with this sponge, and dab on a little bit of a darker more subtle color, like more of a darker blue. There is main form of my Galaxy. Once you put your stars in, it's going to just ring this piece to life. It's going to look so much more realistic. 8. Creating Stars: For the stars, we're going to use a sputtering technique what you want do is grab some white paint and water. You're going to add some extra water to your white paint, so you want make sure that you get the consistency right, it's not too runny and not too thick. I'm going to take my finger and just flip the brush just like this. Sometimes it's a little tricky to get the consistency right. It doesn't drip too much or splatter large splatters, but once you get it right, it will work well, but another way to do it is you take your brush and you just lightly headed against your hand. You can use whichever sputter technique that works best for you or you can use both. Whatever mistakes that you might have or areas that you don't like, you can just wipe it off a little bit and go over it with some more paint. 9. Silhouettes: Now that we're done our sky, we're going to work on the mountain and tree silhouettes. I'm going to take our black with our small flat brush. I'm just going to take the edge of it, and create my mountain formations. Then I'm just going to fill them in right along the tape. I'm going to take one of my small brown brushes, and take some more black, and then we're going to work on our tree line. As I'm painting my tree, you can see that I'm lightly swiping, and dabbing my brush. I'm going to do another one. That's sitting higher up. I'm going to go on this side, and do the same thing. On this side, I'm only going to paint two trees. 10. Details and Highlights: Now we're going to work on our highlights and details. As I'm waiting for this silhouette to dry, I'm going to take my smallest round brush and grab some white paint and I'm going to enlarge a couple of the stars just to make them shine brighter. After adding some detail to a couple of my stars, I am going to mix a very light-bluish gray color and I'm going to add some highlighted lines on the tops of mountains. As you can see, I'm tapering off these highlighted lines. Once we've finished all our details and highlights, we can take off our border tape. Here's the final galaxy painting. 11. Conclusion: Thanks for watching my class. I hope you enjoyed it and I can't wait to see your finished piece. I've left some links for extra inspiration or you can copy my painting if you like. When you've completed your project make sure to share it in the project section and also feel free to leave a review or any comments and let me know what you thought of the class.