Painting the Moon Phases: With watercolor, Chinese Ink and/or Acrylic Paints | Jules Tillman | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Painting the Moon Phases: With watercolor, Chinese Ink and/or Acrylic Paints

teacher avatar Jules Tillman, artist | business coach | infp

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

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

8 Lessons (41m)
    • 1. Welcome to Painting the Moon Phases!

    • 2. A Quick Overview of Tools and Supplies

    • 3. A Watercolor Moon

    • 4. A Traditional Chinese Ink Moon

    • 5. Acrylic Moon

    • 6. Let's Compare and Choose a Medium for Our Final Project!

    • 7. The Final Project: A Moon Phase Painting!

    • 8. A Quick Thanks & Final Information

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

In this fun and experimental class, we'll first paint the moon 3 different ways:

  • With Watercolor
  • With Traditional Chinese or India Ink
  • With Acrylic Paint

If you don't have all of these on hand, no problem! Just start with what you have.

We will then choose our own favorite medium(s) and paint a small moon phase painting with it. 

This is supposed to feel enjoyable and loose -- it's a great class for beginners to intermediate artists who love creative exploration and play! 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jules Tillman

artist | business coach | infp


I'm an artist (or, as I like to say, a "creative explorer"), and affiliate marketing coach & blogger. I help other bloggers and creatives monetize their online businesses with affiliate marketing, And I've been doing business online for 10+ years. I started Thriving Affiliates out of a passion for helping bloggers make money in an honest and ethical way with thier blogs. I actually own/ed two other sites where I made 50-100% of my income from affiliate marketing before starting Thriving Affiliates. 


I help creative entrepreneurs like you build the lives, and the businesses, they really want. I'm a business coach, and I loooove social media (I'm looking at you, Pinterest and Instagram!) I love teaching, and I love the creative onlin... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Welcome to Painting the Moon Phases!: hi and welcome to my class Painting the moon phases in water color, ink or acrylic. My name is Jules Tillman, and I'm a creative business coach and blogger at creating beautifully, and I'm also an artist. Well, really, I like to think of myself as a creative explorer, and that's exactly what I want to share with you in this class. Some creative explorations in painting the moon. This class is great for beginners or really anyone who also considers themselves a creative explorer. In this class, we're first going to paint the moon three different ways. I'm going to use watercolor, traditional Chinese ink and finally, acrylic, so you can either use those or whatever you have on hand. Either way, you will be experimenting and having some fun in the end will choose which one we like best . When I choose my own favorite, I'll use that media to paint the moon phases have a handy supplies list in the class project section in case you want to buy any of the art supplies that I'm using. But otherwise, just use what you have on hand. I like using what you have on hand because you can create something right away. But when you do finish your own project, I hope that you'll share in the class project section even though we're all painting the same moon. I love to see how each one turns out so differently. It's so fun. So hey, let's get started. 2. A Quick Overview of Tools and Supplies: okay, So really quick. I just want to go over some of the tools that will be using today supplies that you'll need . I'm gonna be experimenting with some different paints, so feel free to use what you have on hand. I'm gonna be using this pan watercolor with the black and the gray. But if you have like a liquid watercolor like this, that's fine, too. I find the liquid watercolors. Um, the black is never, like, really black it, actually, you'll end up getting some, like greens and reds in there when it dries. But that's fine, too. If that's what you have on hand, let's just use that. Then I will be experimenting with this traditional Chinese eight. It's a really, really rich black, and so you only need a little tiny dab of it. It's nice. And then finally will experiment with some really key to start off. I'm using this really inexpensive watercolor paper. I, um I bought it from Target. I think it was like $2 or $3 or something, and it comes with 20 sheets and I find it's good for practice stuff like this. Um, I don't need this to be like archival or museum quality paper at this point because we're just experimenting and having fun. Of course, I have my reference photo of the moon so pretty. Um, if you don't have a reference photo, that's fine. Um, you can look it up online or you can just use your imagination. Of course, I've got a variety of brushes here. My brushes are very used and well loved. And then, of course, I have a pencil we are going to be using. I'm using a bowl. We're gonna trace an outline of the circle for the moon. Obviously, use able or other utensil. I guess Teoh fit your size paper. I'm trying to do it a little bit bigger for the sake of this class. Normally, I would you leave a little bit of white space like use a smaller bowl on this size paper. But I want you to be able to see, like, the details and stuff that we're putting in there with a paper towel for blotting my brushes and my two cups of water disturbance my brushes. And I think that's it for right now. So let's get started 3. A Watercolor Moon: Okay. So as I mentioned, I'm just using this mole to trace a circle onto my paper. And again, Normally, I would leave a little bit of extra white space. Hopefully, you can do that with your paper, but for this case, I want to show you as much detail as possible. So I'm just using this to h pencil. I'm going to try to use it very lightly because you don't want to see it at the pencil mark at the end. And we can worry some of it, but we don't want to mess with your painting. It also. Yeah, just I just use a really light mark go around. All right. That's all. Yeah. There we go. I'm just gonna get started by adding some water to my also, I am using this reference photo, but really, it doesn't have to be exact. It could just be from your memory. And like I mentioned, this one is really detailed. I'm not gonna get that detail that we're gonna make it a little bit looser. Not going to try Teoh, you know, exactly replicate this actual image of the moon. I'm just going to use black and water in order to come to create my color. So I'm just going to drop a little bit of the black watercolor onto the tray and I'm gonna start thinking about the darkest parts of the moon and filling in those first. I want to make sure that I really leave some white space. So I'm not gonna paint the whole thing. I'm just going to start at the edge, appear where is the darkest in my reference photo and go along trying to trace that outline a little bit. That's more color. And I want it to be really organic. I don't want to just, like, drop down color kind of like I did here in that sort of straight line. I wanted to be more wiggly, if you will. So I notice that there's some dark spots along this sort of side here. So I'm going to start dropping those in, actually, because I am painting a little bit larger when I get up bigger paintbrush so I could drop that color in a little bit faster. Now, I know that these are going to be my darker areas, so I'm not gonna be shy about dropping more pigment and onto the page, especially up here at the top. This watercolor tends to dry a lot lighter. So be mindful of that. As I dropped the pigment in, it was a little too dark for me right there. So I'm gonna pick it up a little bit around with some water. To me, this is really just about experimenting and having fun. So you can't really make a mistake, in my opinion, when you're painting the moon, unless you really do want to do some sort of hyper realistic painting. But that's not what we're going for here. I really just want to think about like any other painting, the contrast that you're getting and really just leaving the white parts. It's white. It's possible gonna start dropping some really dark blacks in there. Thing is an inexpensive watercolor set so I can see actual pigment on the page, which is not my favorite, but it does provide a better black than the liquid watercolor that I have. So I just live with it Anyway, There is that little sort of circle right there. Leave that weight. And then just with my brush, kind of how I see the white lines going away from that circle. I want to create that feeling. In fact, I'm gonna go to my smaller brush again. You can get a little more detail with that. One of the problems with this less expensive paper too, is that it is bubbling up. As you can see, if you have the less expensive paper like this toe practice on, um, feel free to tape it down to you a board or something. You need Teoh. I'm not gonna worry about it too much, because again, we're just having some fun. E want them to be subtle. So ad, but a pigment of this side because it's darker in my reference photo. So darken it up. You can't just have fun. You don't want to overwork it. You could let it dry a little bit at this point if you want. Teoh, you don't want any sort of inorganic looking lines or what? Not very lightly. Just over these something around. I don't really like these little white spots, so I'm just gonna go over them with just a damp brush because I don't wanna make them completely grey. I don't want them to completely go away that one I lost. But I also don't want them completely white like that either. Just dropping out a little more black. And if that makes contrast reference fitness dark up here. And as you can see, even with tracing the circle, I didn't get a perfect circle, But I'm not worried about it again. This one is just for playing for practice. If for some reason it turned out beautiful and I really loved it, I could just go in and change it in photo shop, actually, and make a print out of it or something like that. Yeah, I think for now that's good. I'm just gonna let it dry, see how it drives. I might add a little bit more to it, but there you have it. Our first experiment with pan watercolors. And next up, we're going to be using that traditional Chinese ink Itsumo Inc. See you in the next module 4. A Traditional Chinese Ink Moon: Okay, so this time I am going to be using this traditional Chinese eat and it is ultra black, so we will not be using a lot of it. And as you can see, I've already drawn my circle and we're gonna try something a little bit different this time . It's gonna go much faster this way. But what I'm gonna do is take a little bit of my leftover watercolor water I'm using a specifically because it has just a little bit of great color to it. And I'm going to fill in Theo entire circle with water being careful around the line there , the edges. And because a little goes a long way with the think I'm actually gonna water it down just a little bit. As you can see, I'm trying to add a lot of water, and it's just making my water really lack. I don't know if you can see that, and then simply gonna drop it in to the areas. Look at that crowd. - Okay , so I let that dry a bit and there's still a little bit of moisture on the paper, but not a lot. And I'm just going to go in and add a few more details. I actually really love the way that this turned out, but I want to add a little bit more great here, There. Now, this ink won't reactivate like watercolor will. So I'm really just adding layers. If I go over the old pain, it's not gonna lift like it would with water color a little more black up here again. My reference is the darkest side of the moon just going to drop more ink in that area where I added some water it nice and black again. This is all just fun today. Experimentation way , this kind of ink work so differently, then watercolor. So if you've never used it before, definitely play around. I don't believe it's meant to use with water, which is why has these sort of beautiful reactions to the water? As you can see, I'm just building up some layers just a really, really light wash. Mostly water in my brush right now. E want some really dark blacks and I'm gonna leave the white white of the paper as well, but I want some real mid tones as well. I don't know if you can see it again. But the paper is buckling a little bit. I'm not mad about it again. Just playing and having some fun. Just a couple of taps of color on there to drink. Rather. All right. I think this one is done for now, and we will move on to the next module. See there. 5. Acrylic Moon: Okay. So as you can see, I've already made my circle again. I made a little mistake, but I'm not worried about it. This is just for practice and foreplay. So this time I'm going to be using the golden acrylics. I'm just using black and white. I'm gonna mix them over here to make the grays and the whites and the box again. I want this to be really fun for you. This should be feel like play. Not like math class. And I'm just going to lay the paint down really quick and we'll see how it goes. E. Do you like to make sense some water from time to time to make my paint a little thinner? I'm also using a stiffer brush. This time. This has much stiffer bristles than watercolor brush. - Again , I'm just using my reference as a very loose guide. We don't see this much detail when we look at the moon, but we still get the general idea of what the moon looks like. - I'm gonna go back in with a smaller brush and get some details in here. - I don't know if it's just me or other people experience this, but especially with acrylic or oils, but especially with acrylic, I feel like it always looks worse before it starts look better. So I just have to keep working at it, - May or may not be able to tell, but I've really just stopped looking at my reference altogether Now, just trying to go over and make it look a little bit more like what I see in the moon. I actually like to paint thick like this and leave a little bit of the texture of the paint on the paper. But if you prefer to paint a different way, just do what feels natural for you and again you can see I'm not really being terribly careful about the circle again. If this turns out to be a moon that I think is just gorgeous and I needed to make a print out of it, then I can just crop it in photo shop, right? I feel like I'm just about done, but I'm gonna go ahead and add in just a few more dark areas or blend those areas a little bit more. You don't wanna blend too much, because then it just becomes one big blob. But You also don't want terribly rough edges. - All right, I think I'm calling this one done. I'm gonna let it dry. And then I will quickly compare the three different moons that I've created. And then I'll decide which medium I'm going to use to create my moon phases you in a minute . 6. Let's Compare and Choose a Medium for Our Final Project!: So here they are. The final three paintings. I started with Watercolor and then went to the traditional Chinese ink and then finished off with a quill. It I'm actually like all three of them. For different reasons. The watercolor has some nice soft textures. The ink was like a lot of bang for your buck, so to speak. It was really fast, and I think it's beautiful and my acrylic painting. I honestly would have spent a little more time on that. But I also didn't want to drag it out for the sake of this class. But I really enjoyed painting it, Um, so sort of hard to decide which one I want to start with. I probably will end up doing moon phases in all three media's. But for the sake of this class and to respect your time, I'm gonna go ahead and do the ink version of my moon phases. So in the next video, we'll draw those up and paint him out. See you there 7. The Final Project: A Moon Phase Painting!: all right, here we are for our final lesson where we're actually going, Teoh paint our moon phases. I'm going to switch it up a little bit. And I'm still using the traditional Chinese ink for my final project. But I'm gonna use this silver black. Um, I haven't really played with this one that much, but it just seems like it would be a lovely color for the moon. Pace is also as you can see, this time I've actually take down my watercolor paper. This is a higher quality watercolor paper. It's just strathmore. Ready Cut, watercolor. It's 100% cotton acid free archival cold press, watercolor paper. I really like this brand and so I can get a little more precise to you. I am going to be using this Penta water brush. It just basically has, like, a watercolor tip, and it holds water inside, and these moons are going to be a little bit smaller, and I do want them to be more precise. So I'll be using that. And everything else is the same. Just a little dish for my ink, some leftover artichoke heart jars and jelly jars for my water and Yeah. Oh, this time. Well, actually, if you want Teoh, I'm going to you be using a ruler to plan out where the moons are going to go. We could always just fix it in photo shop later, but I'd really like to have a high quality original as well. All right, so let's get started. First thing I'm going to do is find the middle of my page as I have it taped off. So have 12 inches here, some in the market at six. Very, very lightly. So that will just give me a general idea of where the middle is. I'm using a smaller circle this time to start, and I'm just gonna go eyeball it. Even though I just said I wanted to be precise and just do a nice soft circle. Hopefully you could see that I do one more on this side. I'm just gonna repeat this part process a few times, and I fast forward through that and I'll see you on the other side. As you can see, I went a little bit off the edge on either side, which is fine. The full moon is going to be in the middle half moons and then quarter moons. So we're not doing a full all. I'm not doing a full moon phase, but you're welcome, Teoh. I'm just gonna do my artistic version of the movies. All right? So you can probably see I've erased that center mark that they made in the Middle Moon. And I've also erased just a little bit of the phases of the moon themselves. I probably will go back in after in a race a little bit more, but I wanted those lines there for reference. I'm not actually going to draw in like the quarter moon or the half moon. I'm just going to eyeball it and basically draw it in with water. Because if you recall from the technique I used with the traditional Inc before, basically, you wet the paper first and then just drop in the color or the ink itself, So I'm gonna be using this. Should drop in my water. I'm gonna do one at a time left to right. Since I'm right right handed and I don't want to getting mistakes on this one. We'll get a nice amount of water on the page and I want to stay in the line this time, Like last time where I wasn't all that worried about it. Now I kind of doubt that you can see where my water is. But trust me, once I drop that ink in, you will know for sure I'm actually gonna do right now because these air smaller than I was originally making Trying to take off as much because I can. I just want to tap just tiny, tiny amounts into Maamoun. Even that felt like a little too much. That's cute. All right. I'm gonna start in my half moon. Oops. Pushed a little too hard. Water came out. Thank goodness for napkins. Always forget like you don't You don't really need toe squeeze water out very often with these brushes. It just sort of comes out naturally. Especially when you're at the edge there. Drop a little more in squeeze at this time. There's lots of water for the ink to go into. And actually, this time I think I'm gonna let it wait. I'll fill in this full moon, let that dry just a little bit so that the ink doesn't travel quite so far as you can see him doing it a little bit differently this time making the sort of light great colors first . Then I'm gonna go in with some some more ink in similar areas to the original one that I created so down bottom, up at the top. And just like when we were playing, I want to make sure that I have some great tones or some mid tones, I should say, some light tones and some dark tones. You really want that contrast that's gonna really make it pop since my full moons already ready, Clear at my brush a little bit, Not quite that much. And I had some grays as I'm doing this. I'm thinking about the moon reference that I had before. I don't need to necessarily copy it. Really? I wanna pay more attention to just what I've already created. Oh, uh, that's kind of cool. It looks like an eyeball drop. Another kind of big drop, their brash just a bit and more. So it's a lighter gray color over here. I mean, I actually quite like that, So I'm gonna go onto the next half moon, do it the opposite direction. This time I wear the same thing As I said, we're very fill in the next moment as well. Last quarter Moon looks about right. Blighter graze, especially around the side. I'm scared. Still a little too much. But you know what? I'm not mad at it again. It's really about creative exploration. So I'm not going to think of anything as a mistake a little bit more back here. But you know what? Since this one did cover more dark space than really any other moon here, I'm gonna go back in. I have this Bombay, India. Ink and white. I'm just gonna drop the tiniest bit in there. Yeah, like how that looks so just to make it more uniform, gonna do it a couple places over here, too. Obviously, if you don't have what in the ink, it's not that big of a deal. If you do want to go back in and add white, you can use white paint, pen a little dry, somebody go back and I just a little more moisture on this one. Go in with some of that gray. Sort of Dapple it in a little more color. They're filled up. Quick way. Have to go in with the white again on that one a little bit there. Get excess off my brush ad. It's too much of a fresh actually trying to soak a little bit of that back in on this to be a bit of a sharper line wear. And again, just so it's a little bit more uniform. Just add way. Little drop there and a little drop there. So Okay, once this is all dry, I'm in Afghan It in. I'm gonna scan in my other moons to just so we can have them on the computer. But overall, I'm really excited and pleased with my results, and I really, really can't wait to see what you dio. And I'm curious which medium everyone everyone's going to choose for their own class projects. It's exciting. Go ahead and check them out in the class project section. 8. A Quick Thanks & Final Information: Thank you so much for joining me through this creative exploration of painting the moon and its phases. Please do share your own moons and or your final moon phase in the class project section. It means so much to me when I get to see everyone's creative. Burke, if you enjoyed this class, please do give it a thumbs up. It helps even more people find the class. And if you'd like to watch any of my future classes, please click the follow button right above this video or well, somewhere, depending on how you're watching. I love to make creative exploration classes like this one as well. It's business related classes for those of you who want to make a living with their creativity. Thanks again, you're the best.