Galaxy Monograms - 2 Ways with Watercolor | Neesha @PaperWand Studio | Skillshare

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Galaxy Monograms - 2 Ways with Watercolor

teacher avatar Neesha @PaperWand Studio, Watercolor | Illustration Studio

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

    • 1.

      Intro & Overview


    • 2.

      Supplies & Prepping the Letters


    • 3.

      Base Layers


    • 4.

      Masking & 2nd Layer


    • 5.

      Adding Stars


    • 6.

      Shadows & Metallic Details


    • 7.

      Wrap Up


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About This Class

In this class you'll learn two ways to paint Galaxy Monograms.  These are so much fun to create and they can be used in a variety of projects or as gifts. 

I'll walk you through, step-by-step to create each of these monogram styles.  Here's what's covered on the inside:

• Supplies & Materials.

• Where and how to choose the right font & letter style.

• Learning wet-on-wet technique with watercolors.

• How & when to add salt into your work for added texture. 

• Talking about light sources and how to add shadows/highlights correctly.

• How to fix mistakes easily and recover your hard work. 

For more projects, tutorials & free resources, visit my Channel, Website or Instagram.

Happy Painting!!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Neesha @PaperWand Studio

Watercolor | Illustration Studio


Like catching fireflies at summer's dusk, PaperWand creations are a way of making time stand still—if only briefly—to celebrate whimsy and wonder. They invite you to reconnect with your imagination and relish the big magic in little moments.

Our workshops and classes are inspired by the most timeless of emotions: a little bit of nostalgia, an endless well of delight. We hope they inspire you to play, laugh, and make believe a little more each day.


I'm Neesha. I'm an illustrator + designer with an online home at

Following 15 years in the graphic design industry, I've explored many creative paths. Ranging from being an art teacher, a kids' book illustrator, and nursery muralist. I love t... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Intro & Overview: Welcome to Galaxy Monograms. My name is Nisha. I'm an artist and an illustrator. This is a watercolor class. There are two different ways you can paint thes, and I can't wait to show you. We'll start by looking at some reference pictures of Galaxies, and then I will talk you through some different font options for your letters. We'll talk about what will work the best and why. Then I'll cover the supplies that you'll need, including gold or metallic paints if you choose. Watercolors make a perfect medium for this kind of painting. They naturally blend together so well, let's get started. 2. Supplies & Prepping the Letters: Okay, so just covering some supplies. You'll need watercolor paints, brushes, watercolor paper ajar for water and paper towels. Also, you can use any kind of watercolor pains. I actually used both the pan set and the liquid watercolors that I have. You also need a white opaque paint. I have acrylics here. You can also use something like wash and salt. Salt is gonna be a really fun way to add some texture into the work. So the masking fluid and a light box are gonna be two things that I'll say are optional. And I can show you a work around if you don't have either of those. All right, So to choose your letters, you're gonna want to find a fund that is both a script thought that has thin marks sort of thin lines. And then she was more of a chunky fund. So it's got a wider, thicker structure. Will do one galaxy painting inside the letter in the chunky one and one that's reversed with the thinner script fond. And you can use any funds that are already on your computer or do a Google search. Google has free fonds. If you search online So I found these two with Google fonts, and I can list them below in the description. If you want to use the same ones, so the first thing you'll do is print it out on just a standard letter sheet of paper. And I'm using a light box to trace my first letter onto my watercolor paper and a work around if you don't have a light box is using ah window. So as long as you have a bright, sunny day, it'll work the same. You can tape your sheets of paper up on the window and trace that way. Keep your marks really light, and that way they won't show through your painting. Okay, so for the second letter will do the same thing. Either use the window method or your lightbox method. Line up your letter with your watercolor paper and just trace a light outline. You're also free to skip this completely and freehand her letter. You don't have to use a font if you prefer creating your own letter style. Definitely do that. Once all your letters were traced and you're ready to go. Let's take a quick look at some reference pictures before we start painting. Here are some photographs that popped up online. I did a search for Galaxy and Universe, and these were just stunning. They're so beautiful and they're really great inspiration photos. We'll take a look at the color palette here, The way the stars look just the way the colors are blending together. Feel free to use one of these or find your own reference picture something that will inspire you to create your galaxy. 3. Base Layers: All right. So start with a medium size brush. Either an eight or 12. Somewhere in between, there will work. We'll start by adding water into our letter. I'm starting with E chunky one, where we're putting the galaxy inside the letter. We're gonna start with our light layers first and then build up. You always go light to dark and watercolors, and that way you can control your saturation levels, starting with a light blue. And I'm not using any masking fluid, So this is the option to do. If you don't have masking fluid, the watercolor will stay where the water is. So as long as you keep your water within the lines, the color will not go past that. I'm using mostly just water and very light color on this part. You want to keep the parts that you want the galaxy to be wet and kind of keep it, what with the water so that when you start building your layers, all the colors will naturally bleed together and just make some nice blends on their own. Just keep working each section and keeping it really What, as he add in the light colors, I'm doing for this galaxy, a blend of blues and greens. This one will be more of a cool color palette and then on the second layer allowed in some darker shades of blues and blacks. Once you get your first layer in of your lighter shades, then you can start dropping in the darker colors right on top. You'll see that when you drop the what paint on the white paper, it will start to spread out by itself and make some nice blends. All right, now that your first layer is in, we're gonna do some salt texture. So just Sprinkle in some salt right on top of the little wet spots that you have. When this dries, it will make a really fun texture in your work. All right, so then just set that aside to dry, and we'll work on our 2nd 1 Okay, So for the reverse galaxy, we will be painting outside the letter and just putting the water and color around the edges again. If you have masking fluid and you want to cover the letter and protect it, go ahead. This is a work around. If you do not have masking fluid color palette for this one I've chosen is gonna be a little bit brighter. So more purples and hangs and yellows blending in, keeping this first layer really light and then making a rough circle shape. I haven't really traced a circle because I want to keep it really translucent on the edges and not see any pencil lines. And also I wanted the edges to not look perfectly circle. This is also really fun. One to watch the colors blend and bleed together when there are wet on what, like this. Once you have your first layer in, you can start dropping in your darker colors and shades and then just build up as you go. The last layer I am putting in our the really dark, dark. So all the blacks in the dark purples and then just dropping them in. In some areas, I'm mostly using a detail brush for just some of the lines, just getting really close to the letter and making sure that they're clean edges. Okay, final step is thes salt. Just Sprinkle it on and you will have that fun texture on it when it dries 4. Masking & 2nd Layer: all right. Laughter. Your artwork has dried. Make sure it's 100% dry. You can start removing the salt. You can use a brush like this that has stiff bristles or just your fingertips. It should come off pretty easily. And just note that when you're doing the one that is the galaxy inside the letter, be careful around the edges. I got a little bit of the color smudging and coming past the line, but there's an easy fix for that and I'll show you. As you can see, I got some smudge marks right along the edges. I pushed a little too hard. Are you going to do is take an eraser if that happens, and then just lightly arrays near the line edge and that should just come right off, Right? So this is masking fluid. You don't have to use this, but I wanted to show you what you can do with it. If you do have it, you're gonna paint the masking fluid on your letter, and it's gonna protect the white of the paper. So whatever you paint will go on the paper and not on your letter. And then when it's fully dry and you're done with your painting. You peel off the masking fluid. It comes off like a stretchy plastic and comes off really clean. So don't use a brush that you really glove. Not a high quality brush, because this can damage your brushes. I'm just using a basic medium range brush to paint it on, and then when you're done, makes you rinse really, really well with hot water and even a brush cleaner, I would recommend just to protect your brush bristles. You can also use the masking fluid on your other galaxy letter. Just go right around the edges and then, when it's dry, will paint on our next layer. This is completely optional. You don't have to do this. You can just keep doing it the way we had done in the past, where you just paint right on top and the watercolor will just stay where you put the water . But I wanted to show this to you in case you were curious, and you wanted to try this technique. Once the masking fluid is all dry, you can go in and start adding your second lier. I'm just going in here with some dark blues and blacks on some of the parts of the letter and then just let this dry completely before we removed the masking fluid. 5. Adding Stars: okay, After your masking fluid has dried completely, we can add in the stars. This is wait acrylic paint. You can also use quash. Anything opaque will work. So what? Your brush and get a little bit of the white paint and then get a second brush. And what we're going to do is just tap it, and that will make splatters and give you that star galaxy effect. This is a lot of fun. Do not wear your favorite clothes. It will get everywhere, so continue tapping and putting in the stars as much as you want as many layers as you like . If you get splatters outside of your galaxy circle that you don't want, you can use a damp paper towel and wipe up any extra splatters as long as you're what they'll come off really easily. Okay, so now we can add in a couple of shining stars. Using a detail brush, she sat in little lines on the tops, bottoms and the sides. It will give that little shining star effect. You can also add some shooting stars is a look fun using a little white paint and making with your detail brush is making little lines that are kind of curved. And then I'm just picking up the extra splatters outside of my galaxy with a paper towel. There any spots that you want to lighten up while the paint is still what you can use, um, the paper towel to dab away. And it will lighten up some of the splotches if you got too much. Once it's dried fully, you can start peeling off the masking fluid. If you used it, you can see it coming off in really stretchy pieces. And there you go. You can see how the masking fluid kept the letter really clean and white, and you didn't get any splatters on the inside. That's one of the benefits of using it. Okay, we'll do the same thing for the other letter and start putting in our splattered stars, all right, and keep a paper towel on hand. If you want to pick up any extra paint and lighten up any of your splotches, you can do that now and then, using the detail brush at in the shining stars on whichever stars you like. Okay, once it's dry, you can start picking up that masking fluid and peeling it off. Okay, Once it's all up, you can see that the paper was protected, You didn't get any splatters, and we're already toe adding the final touches. 6. Shadows & Metallic Details: All right, so this is optional. If you want to clean up any of your edges, you can do this. I'm using a detailed brush and some really light black paint and just smoothing out some of the rough parts along the edge. All right, time for the shadows. So, using black paint and a detailed brush, I'm going to put in the shadow along one side of the letter. I'm doing the left side and the bottom side of each letter and keeping it consistent. You can choose right and top, if you like. Whatever you do, just make sure you keep it consistent, so it all matches throughout your artwork. Okay, so we'll let this dry and we'll work on the second letter for this shadow. Since it's on the white paper, I'm using a light blue instead of black, and I chose a coordinating blue that kind of matches my galaxy colors and just carefully outlining the bottom and the left edges of the letter. So imagine my light source is coming from the top right, and that puts the shadows all on the bottom and on the left side of my letter. So go through and pick your light source and pick your shadow areas on your letter and just keep them consistent. Okay, I did this, and I just realized I put the shadows on both sides of this part of the K, which is not correct. So if you're following along, don't do this, just pick one. And what I'm gonna do is show you how to easily fix this in the next step. All right. So, Well, that one dries. We're gonna go back to this one, which has the galaxy on the outside, and add in the gold highlights. I'm using an acrylic metallic gold paint and a detailed brush and again going along the left side of my letter and carefully putting in this highlight. And depending on how opaque your paint is, you may need to do several layers. I think on mine I did about tour or three layers to build up that gold and get really shiny . And then when you're done, you can add in some little gold speckles into the stars, and that will tie it all together, okay? And then getting the gold paint again and your detailed brush will put in the gold highlight on the other letter, just going around on the left side in the bottom edges. Just a little reminder to pick one of your edges on this part of your K if you're doing the letter K and not doing both, if you are trying to stay consistent and then taking the gold paint and just adding a few little golden stars, little dots and speckles throughout your galaxy to tie it it calling all right To fix this little mistake, I'm adding white acrylic pain and just blending out into the rest of the paper and just build up the layer. If it's too dark, you can add several layers of that white paint and then just blend out those edges. Okay, and then get your detailed brush and some water color. I've, ah darker blue, and I'll go over the highlight portion because the gold is a lighter color. You can paint a darker watercolor on top and fix that area. If you have accidentally added to highlights like I did, I'm going back in with a little bit of black paint as well along some of the edges and then blending it out. And then when it's dry. You can go back in and add of some stars with your white acrylic paint and just cover up a little bit of that patched area, and there you go, all good. 7. Wrap Up: Hey guys, I hope you had so much fun painting these they were a blast to teach. Congratulations. We now have two letters with galaxy styles in two different ways. Remember to post your work. I would love to see it. And if you have any comments or feedback, let me know. Remember to follow me on skill share so that any time I post new content you will be the first to know. Also, you can tag me on Instagram over at paper wand. I would love to see your work. Thanks for joining me. See you in the next class.