Quick and Easy Watercolor Moons | Jessica Sanders | Skillshare

Playback Speed

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

Quick and Easy Watercolor Moons

teacher avatar Jessica Sanders, Artist | Designer

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 (28m)
    • 1. Welcome

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Draw a Circle

    • 4. Warm up

    • 5. Blue Moon

    • 6. Soft Gray Moon

    • 7. Glowing Moon

    • 8. Project and Thank You

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

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

Let's paint some fun and easy watercolor moons!  

In this class for any level, we will explore painting moons using the wet-on-wet technique.  I've structured this class to increase from simple to a little more complex, yet keeping it a relaxed, exploratory atmosphere.  After warming up, we will paint a Blue Moon, a Soft Gray Moon, and a Glowing Moon. 

Class Goals:

  • Enjoy watercolor painting
  • Practice wet-in-wet technique
  • Paint some moons!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jessica Sanders

Artist | Designer


Jessica Sanders

Artist, Instructor, Designer

Illustrated Journal: Fill a Sketchbook with Butterfly Inspired Art


Hello lovely, lovely creative friend!

My new class is up and going!  I hope you will join me as we go on a journey together, filling a journal with lovely butterfly inspired art.  I just added a new page spread, Explore Texture, which is covered in 15 bite size lessons (13-27).  

I can hardly wait to see your project!!

Happy Painting,



See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

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: are you looking for a fun and easy project? Well, let's paint some water color moves. Hello. Welcome to my skill share class. I'm Jessica Sanders. Color me greedy to art dot com in this watercolor class for any level will be creating three moon paintings. But before start on that we're going to do a warm up, and we're going to cover the techniques that we need for doing this class, including wet and wet brushed precision and special effects with alcohol. Then we'll get right into painting Are moons will start with a blue moon. Then we'll do a soft grey moon where we talk about different kinds of values. And then last but not least, we will do a glowing moon in the sky. This class is designed to teach you quick and fund projects of painting moons, so let's get started 2. Supplies: so the supplies for this class are pretty basic. You need water color paint. You need water brushes. You need a circle and a pencil so you can draw. I'm using £140 watercolor paper. That is my preference, and you may want to include some things, like a metallic paint just for fun. It's important tohave alcohol, rubbing alcohol, isopropyl alcohol for this class and the other materials are optional. The white egg, the fan brush and the small brush along with the tissue or cotton swab. So gather your materials and let's get started. 3. Draw a Circle: we're gonna draw circle the simple way. So I'm using an HB pencil, which means it has a hard lead and it will create a lighter line. But I'm drawing kind of dark, so you can see it. I looked around the house and found a circle. That was the size that I wanted, which happened to be this tape, and now I'm just going to put it on my paper and draw line around it. I did keep in mind my composition and where I want the moon to be on the paper and the rest simple. You just hold the tape or the circle steady and use your pencil to draw right around it. Do it lightly again so it won't show as much. Or you can always erase it a little before you do your actual painting. So now that you have your circle, let's do a warm up and work on our techniques 4. Warm up: okay for a watercolor moon class, let's do a bit of a warm up practice some of the techniques that were going to use. First off, we're going to use wet and wet, and all that means is first we put water on the paper and then we add the paint. So depending on your paper and the absorbency of your paper, you may actually have toe wet your space more than once. Now, you probably can't see this very well with the the camera because it's just slightly tinted water, but just wet it. But you don't want a big puddle there, so you may have toe wet it, let it absorb just a little bit and then even out that water. So you want a nice even coat of water, and then all you do is you take your paint and you drop it into that wet wash. A few key things to remember here, different colors and different brands of paint move differently. See how this blue spreads out. If I used this, pink is probably going to be a little different. So really depends on the paint you're using, but it definitely spreads out more or less, depending on colors and the type of paint use and your paper. So there are a lot of thought to play around with it and see what you're paints do also to keep in mind. It always dries lighter because you already have water on the paper. That means you're taking water paint mixed with water and yours adding it into more water, which means it's going to dry even lighter, than if you just did a wet on dry technique with same paint. So those are the two main things to remember with wet on wet technique, along with trying to get an even coat of water on your paper. Next, let's talk about brush precision. Now I have a big, flat brush, and this is the one I'm using in the class to paint my water onto the paper. So I want to use the brush that I music for the class. It's a flat brush or a round brush, whichever one you're going to use, that's the one I want you to practice with. Okay, I'm going to practice with this big, flat brush because it's the one I used in the class, so I'm going to make a big circle because I have a big brush. But if you have a smaller brush, you can make a smaller circle and you just need something round and you could just trace around it. There you go. It's already a moon, right? Just because we have that circle, there's practice. I want you to practice with Paint now in the class will be doing wet and wet as we discussed. But in order to work on your brush control, using paint is a good way to do it. So you're just going to take your paint and load up your brush and make sure your brush looks flat and even and then place this one corner of it basically right along the line, and press down gently and follow the line around us precisely as you can, And slowly that will release the paint pretty evenly if you go fairly slowly so you can just practice this on a few circles when you get to the other side. Depending on whether you're right or left handed, then you're going to need to turn the brush around. And for me, this direction is a little trickier. It's hard to see where I'm going. You can always turn the paper if you need Teoh so precision. See, I do have a few little tiny mistakes I can always Well, it's with paint in there, so that's a great way to practice precision with your flat brush. Or you can do it with your round brush. It's easier to get this line with the flat brush than it is with around, but it can be done. So don't let that stop you if you only have a round brush. Next, let's talk about special effects with alcohol, so I'm just going to paint wash on my paper here. Just color doesn't matter. The color doesn't matter anything like that and you look at that. That's really pretty. A great way to make craters and things like that is with alcohol. Now. I happened tohave because I also work with Alcohol Inc. I have this 91% isopropyl alcohol, normal isopropyl alcohol, these air from the pharmacy that will work just fine. It does the same thing. I just happen to have this kind. If you don't have a bottle that has a specialty, that's OK. You can use a very small brush. I would suggest that you use a mixed media brush, not a watercolor brush, but something very small and precise you can use for your alcohol so you don't feel like you have to have the fine line applicator. You don't. You can use a small birth. So while you're pain is wet nose. It sat there a minute in that spine, but it's still wet. That's the key. You can just drop your alcohol in there, and it pushes and moves the pain and evaporates very quickly. So the more alcohol you put, the bigger the circle you're going to get. And it sort of has thes concentric circles in it. Usually depending on your paint, your paint may act a little differently in mind, so it's pretty cool way to create craters. Just drop it in there. And because I have this very fine tip, I can just shake my bottle what you'll see me doing and get some interesting little thoughts in circles, and that's all there is to it, and you just let it dry. And once it dries, you have these nice circles. Now, these circles, maybe more white or more colored again. It depends on the paint you're using, whether staining or not, the kind of paper you have, etcetera. So just keep all those things in mind. That's why we do the warm up so that you can see how your own pain in your own paper behaved before you try and do the techniques we do in the class, you become more familiar with it before you try to do the actual painting. It's so important to do warm ups. I would love to see those when you submit your project or as a beginning to submitting your project. It would be great if you would start your project just by submitting your warm up. That would be fan test. All right, let's move on to painting some moons. I am super excited. 5. Blue Moon: Let's get started with Blue Moon. Now this is a very simple moon painting. It's very few steps, but I'm trying to show you in real time, so you know exactly how fast or how slow I'm actually doing the painting and then lessons after this will be time lapsed. We're starting with wet on wet technique, just like we practiced in the warm up, and I'm using my flat brush to paint very carefully around the edges. Now I am able to go all the way around the circle without that center area edges drying. But if you're struggling with that, you can paint that in as you go. And then I added more water and smoothed it out. I don't have any puddles left. It's just a nice, even sheen of water on my paper. And now the fun part is adding the color. I'm using a cobalt ill color. You can use any kind of blue or blue, green color or even pink if you want to. This one just happens to be blue, and I'm just loading up my realm brush, and I'm just dropping and color into the wet areas. Notice how the paint doesn't spread outside the line. That's because there's no water out there and it won't flow past that edge. So I'm carefully adding the pain in around the edge in some areas and some areas I don't touch right now with that fully loaded paintbrush. Some areas I just kind of wait because I want to have some lighter areas and some darker is . And then I'm sorts thinking of mountain ranges in that sort of thing. So that's that those wavy connecting lines, those could be like mountain ranges or something on the moon, and that just reminds me of a moon. So that's why I'm doing it that way. Now that I don't have much pain in my brush, I'm sort of closing up those edges. They're still a little paint there, so it's going to be a lighter, lighter blue, and I gives me more values, and it makes that nice round shape while everything still wet. I'm grabbing my alcohol now. You can use a tiny paintbrush for this if you don't have the bottle. That's perfectly fine, just like we discussed. And so I'm just putting drops of alcohol in areas where I do have pain and also in areas where I don't have pain. It's going to create a nice circle shape and it makes a crater. It's really cool effect, and it's so easy to do. And you know me. I can't resist splattering, so I do a little bit of that with my bottle, which gives me some tiny smaller drops and make some other small shapes. So one thing I wanted to do for this moon painting was to write the words Blue Moon at the bottom of the painting. So I've mixed up a mid thickness kind of paint, not too thick, not too thin to go in my dip in, and I used my brush toe load, my dip in and then I'm just writing the words now. I'm not a Lederer, and this is not going to be perfect. And this is not a lettering class, so just use your own handwriting and use a pin or a dip in or even a brush, and you can write words on your moon painting. Feel free to write your words in pencil First. I did draw a straight line across with a pencil to make it easier to write my words, and I'm using my best handwriting now, if you're not used to using a dip in, you will have to load it multiple times. You could even use liquid watercolors for this. And then when you make your down strokes, you put heavier pressure. And when you make your up strokes, you put lighter pressure, so I'm going to show you that a little bit closer. So as I move my pin up, I put light pressure. And then when I move it down, I'll put heavier pressure so you can see how the needed pushes apart when I go down and it lets more thankful out and makes a wider line. So I like adding little swirls to my letters and things like that. So that's what's happening there. And also it takes multiple strokes to do one letter. You don't do a lot of upward motion with the depend on Lee Small spaces, and then I decided I would draw a little moon at the end of my word just because I wanted to. It felt nice and it was fun, and that's why I'm here to have fun. And I hope that's why you're here, too. because watercolor painting is so amazing and so joyful. Course, most of my paintings are never complete without some splatters. So I'm making some just small splatters around the edges of the moon on sort of a diagonal line. And then I did also drip a little bit of water, run there to sort of lighten and make some bigger splotchy areas. Then I add the date and I'm signing it and my blue moon is finished. So this may be a good time to take a short break and try out painting a moon. And don't forget to share it with me in the project section or over on Instagram. But if you want to, let's continue on to the next moon. 6. Soft Gray Moon: Now let's pay a soft grey moon for this moon. I'm mixed up two values of paint. I made a dark blue grey paint in which I used into go and a little bit of black with not much water. And then I took a little bit of that. Put it in the space next to it at a little bit more black and quite a bit more water. So you can see here how there is quite a bit more paint in the dark blue color than there is in a lighter grey. So just like with our blue moon, we're gonna prepaid the same process. We're going to use the wit and went technique painting carefully around the edges of the circle. Now, keep in mind this is now a sped up painting. I'm moving much more slowly to spread the water evenly. I let that first layer soak in just a little bit, and then I added a second layer of water, smoothed it out nice and even know big puddles. Just a nice even layer of water. I'm starting with the light gray mixture of paint, not the dark blue one to just add in sort of a base layer of color. I wanted to be really soft and light. Remember, this is a soft grey moon, and so we're going for nice soft color. As I'm painting, I'm thinking about looking up at the moon at night and how I see light and shadow. I want to enhance those shadows with the dark blue color, but leave the light gray color for most of it. I wanted to create a little bit of a sweeping line, so I'm using the body of my brush the side of it to sweep some color away from that area again. I'm thinking of the moon as I'm doing this and the areas of light and dark. Now it's time for the fun, alcohol dripping and dropping, creating those lovely circles that you can see. And I put it in some of the darkest color areas to create the most drama. So now I'm cleaning up the edges just a little bit. There were some places I miss when I added the water, and as long as everything still wet, I can do that. So what's? The painting was dry. I felt like it needed more color and more drama. I wanted to be a soft moon, but I don't want to be that soft. I decided to do a second layer of widom wet, so I carefully re wet the paper. Now. This may lift a little bit of paint if you try this, but just be really careful and light when you add your water and don't go over areas multiple times now I'm dropping in another layer of color. I'm actually using the gray for this and just putting it in areas where I want it to be darker. I'm not going to cover the entire painting this time, although I did cover the entire moon with water because I wanted nice soft edges. But I'm not covering the entire area with paint. I just want some space is to be a little bit darker and also painting around the craters and not over them. In some areas where I feel it's a little bit too dark, I'm just using a damp brush, lightly damped to lift the paint a little bit and softened the edges, and I wanted to add in more craters, and so I brought about my alcohol. But this time, instead of leaving a wider area of the paper. It's going to be the color that was underneath that we painted on the first player a little bit more cleaning up of the edges and soften ings and lines, and we're just about done. I'm going to finish this with off with some spotters, just like I did on the Blue Moon, and we have a soft grey moon now. It's nice and loose and free, and it was fun and easy to paint. You could use this on a greeting card. You could add lettering, or you could frame it for a nice little art piece, so I invite you to give it a try and share it with me in the project section or over on my instagram. 7. Glowing Moon: Okay, let's paint a glowing moon. Now. This is the most complicated of the moon's we've painted so far, but we're still using the same steps were starting with William Wet and we're moving on to dropping in color, and then we'll add in a background, which is going to really cause our moon to be nice and glowy. Now, at this point in the painting process, I've already wet the paper with a nice even wash. But you may still notice something a little different than I did in the other paintings. Rather than dropping strong color around the edges in some places, I decided to go with a very light edge. Now this is because I want my moon toe look like it's glowing. And so I want those edges to be nice and light, and we're going to create a darker background so you can see and my palate that I have such a light color of paint. It's really mostly water and the tiniest bit of paint just to create a nice grey blue gray color. Next on dropping the alcohol. Think I'm putting it in the light areas and the dark areas, and I have quite a few craters going on, let your dry and then move on to the background. I was impatient and I did not let my moon dry and some of that gray from the new leaked out into the background. Now that's not a deal breaker, but it's something you want to be aware of. Okay, Making the background The first step is to wet areas of the background right around the edge of the moon. So I created the small wet area because I want the blue color that I'm using to be soft and sort of bleed into that area, which will create the glowing effect that I'm going for now. I'm using a cobalt blue and indigo. You can use the colors of blue that you like an ultra Marine would work. Any kind of deep, dark blue Indian thrown would be beautiful, but any neutral or purplish blue would be great. Now I didn't want my painting to drywall was working, so you could see I did one corner and then I'll move on to the others, trying to keep a wet edge. And I'm making the area closer to the moon brighter. And as you work out from the moon and away from it. I'm adding that dark in the go and even some black and there to make it darker. So take a look at this nice soft edge we've created where we started with the water. And then we added the color next to it. Isn't that just gorgeous? So for the rest of the edge of the moon, I just use a light wash of color. Did not do the wedding with technique there, but I will be adding in darker colors as I go now. The top edge just feels too dark to me. So with a thirsty brush, I am lifting out some of that color. There's still plenty of color there, and you can still see the nice texture. But I just took out some of that paint that was just just really too dark for that area to create that glow were going for now I'm using my flat brush because it's nice and big, and I can cover more space that that way, and I can get that nice edge without having to struggle too hard. It's a little bit harder with the round brush than it is with the flat brush. So I'm continuing to work my way around the moon, lifting paint and using my brush and tissue toe lift paint to create a glowing, cloudy effect. It's going to get gradually darker as we go toward the edges. As I said before and around the edges, I could just be crazy with the brush because it's like a cloudy sky, right? You can have all of that texture, but the closer I get to the moon, I wanted to be a little bit more smooth, but not too much. So you see me twisting and turning my brush, and that will create a natural soft edge not to exactly perfect but very organic feeling. And that's what I'm going for. I'm going to continue to add in that dark indigo or black right around the edges, and then it's time for the alcohol. And because I have a story sky, I can even put alcohol in the wet paint around the edges because it can create a story. Look along with the creators, craters on the moon, and while the pain is still wet, I can continue to lift in soften edges. I'm using a a clean, lightened, damn thirsty brush. I'm tapping it off, cleaning it, and then I'll lift again. And I'll continue that until I get that glowing effect that I'm looking for. I am using my round brush for this because I don't need those crisp edges anymore, and it just sort of is more thirsty if you can believe it than my flat brush. Now we're going to let this layer dry, and then we'll add a second wash on our sky. So this time I'm not doing wedding with. I just went in around the edges with the paint, and I covered the whole entire sky over again with the same colors before and working lighter and lighter to get closer to the moon to create that glowing effect. I'm really happy with the way the moon is right now, so I'm just working on the background a little bit more. I wanted to be a little deeper, darker, richer color by repeating the same process as we did the first time we did the background. Now I am back to using the flat brush again because I could just cover more area with this brush than I can with the other. And I'm working in a circular motion around the moon to create that glowing effect. I wanted to have that organic soft feel. So you see me sort of just tapping the color around. I'm using the corner of my brush to do that and just move the color around until it's the way I want it. I mean, it's my painting. I'm in charge of it, right. You're in charge of yours. Do see a hard edge on the moon, and I want to lift that a little bit. So I put a little bit of clean water on my brush and went in there and kind of scrubbed it around and lifted up that color. But then I'm going to add a little bit more color back into that space. But I don't want that hard edge. I just sort of erased it. I bet you were wondering when we were going to get to this splattering. Well, we are going to spotter. We're going to use white ink or whitewash and a fan brush wet it and splattered onto our background for stars. Now, I don't want stars all over my moon, so I just fold it up a little piece of tissue and covered up my moon with it. Or you could use a piece of paper, something round, whatever works for you. I tested out my splatters because I wanted small splatters and not big ones. So I did a little test on another piece of paper. And now they're the size I want and I'm splattering. Oh, I love it. I love it so much. So I'm moving the tissue around a little bit because I don't want, like, a hard line where the edge of the tissue is. So I kind of turned it and then splatter a little bit more. I want to add a pop of light white to the edges of some of my crater. So I've got my very tiny brush you could use a dip in for. This is well, but I wanted to demonstrate the brush, and I'm making just light squiggly lines with the ink. I did have to add a little bit of water to my ink to make it thin enough. And I think I got a really nice effect. What do you think? Do you like it? I cannot wait to see your moods in the project section. Let's talk about that next 8. Project and Thank You: thank you so much for taking my class. Let's talk about your project. The best way to get started with your project is to do the warm up, so I would like to see you practice. The widom went technique and learn how your paint moves and behaves. Try to get a nice, even layer of water, then move on to brush. Precision practice creating that nice smooth edge and following the line and play around with alcohol drops in your wet wash. See how much fun it is and see how your paint, paper and water behaves. Feel free to share this in the project section if you like. Even before you paint your moons X, try out your moons. They're fun and easy. You can do any colors you like. I just happen to do a blue and the light gray and be sure and trout the glowing. With that, you may find that it's easier than you think. There's so much fun. Each of these paintings took me about 15 to 20 minutes at the most, so try it out. It's a short, easy project. Thank you so much for taking my class. Please ask your questions. Leave your reviews. I'd love to chat with you. I'll see you very soon, but by