Simple Watercolor Night Sky Landscape Painting | Kolbie Blume | Skillshare

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Simple Watercolor Night Sky Landscape Painting

teacher avatar Kolbie Blume, Artist

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.



    • 2.



    • 3.

      1. Prepping the scene


    • 4.

      2. First wash of water


    • 5.

      3. Painting the sky


    • 6.

      4. Drying the first layer


    • 7.

      5. Painting the stars


    • 8.

      6. Painting the trees


    • 9.

      7. (Optional) Add lettering


    • 10.

      8. Finishing touches


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About This Class

Do you love the wonder that comes from looking up at a sky full of stars? Do you want to capture that wonder on paper and preserve it for years to come? Learn my step-by-step process for creating beautiful, simple night-sky paintings in this course! 

Each video is set in the order of my process, and the course is designed for you to follow along with your own piece (your final project) as you watch the videos. Also included is my list and explanation of preferred materials. This is the exact process for my signature night-sky paintings on my Instagram account and in my Etsy shop. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Kolbie Blume


Top Teacher



If you're pretty sure you're terrible at art...'re in the right place, my friend. 



Hi there! My name is Kolbie, and I'm a full-time artist, writer, and online educator -- but up until a few years ago, I was working a 9-5 desk job and thought my artistic ability maxed out at poorly-drawn stick figures. 

In my early 20s, I stumbled on mesmerizing Instagram videos with luminous watercolor paintings and flourishing calligraphy pieces, and ... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction : Hi, my name is Kolbie, and I love to paint and to letter, and to use calligraphy to create beautiful artwork that speaks to my soul. You are probably here right now because you are interested in learning how to create beautiful night sky paintings like this guy or these lovelies right here. Whether you've seen these paintings, you're just searching through Skillshare and he came across this class, or you following me on Instagram @thiswritingdesk and saw some of my videos or postings of these paintings. I'm here to teach you all of my secrets. I never imagined that I would be an artist. I only started lettering maybe two years ago and one year ago I started painting, and it just has become an obsession and part of who I am. The reason I'm telling you this is because you don't have to have any experience to start these paintings. If you want to learn starting at zero, you totally can. The more you practice and the more time you put in, the better you're going to get. In this class, I'm taking you through my process step-by-step for painting these gorgeous night skies, and the best way for you to learn how to do it is to paint them along with me. The videos are hopefully ordered in a way that makes sense and makes it easy for you to join me as we paint a beautiful night sky. Hopefully, you will end up with something that looks a little bit like this, or something that you can be proud of to keep for yourself or to give away, or to keep on the shelf and to keep practicing. At the end of the class, I would love if you posted your work on the project gallery so that everyone can see it. I would also love to see see work on Instagram. If you tag me, thiswritingdesk, I will give you some love and I may even re-post some of my favorites. Without further ado, let's get started. 2. Materials: Like I talked about in my introductory video, this class is all about making night sky forest scenes like these ones right here. You should have already seen them, but just in case, I'm going to show you how I make these beautiful paintings. I will say that these paintings have been the ones that have increased my engagement on Instagram and I've gotten so many people excited. I'm excited, I love making these paintings, I think they're beautiful. They are not so hard to get so beautiful. This video is all about talking about the different supplies that we need really quickly. Then at the end, I'm going to have a picture that lists all the suppliers that we talked about here. First, paper, the two different kinds of paper that I use for these specific paintings. Bear in mind, I don't always use these paper for every project that I do. I talk a lot about that in my blending class for calligraphy. But the two kinds I use the most are, arches is my favorite. This is professional-grade watercolor paper, which means that it is made from 100 percent cotton. It is 140 pounds, I believe that's 300 grams. It is the best in my opinion, at absorbing the water and maintaining the quality of your paint and your layers. I use arches, that is my favorite. Arches is expensive. There's really no getting around it. It is more expensive than regular paper. I buy 140 pounds instead of 300-pound paper because 140 pounds is less expensive. If you just don't know that you can spring for arches right now, which I totally understand, the best comparison I found to arches professional-grade in terms of student-grade paper is Strathmore. Now I believe Strathmore also creates professional-grade paper, but that is also probably priced at a professional-grade price. But Strathmore student grade paper has a similar texture to arches, though arches is more textured because again, it is made of 100 percent cotton, and Strathmore is likely made of some cottonwood pulp combination, I'm not sure. But Strathmore is the closest in all of the student grade papers that I've tried and I haven't tried them all, but I have tried a few. These are the two choices for paper that I would go with. Next, I'm going to talk about paint. I would either go with tubed paint or pan paint, pan watercolor. I would not use liquid watercolor on these pieces mostly because to get the contrast in colors, you can do this with just one color if you're using the right paint and it's really hard to get this really deep, muted color with liquid watercolor, in my opinion, that's just my opinion. Your choice, but for landscape water coloring, I much prefer to use pigmented, professional-grade watercolor that's either tubed or that's in a pan, and that's what all of these choices are. Really quick. I'm just going to go over prima watercolor confections are really affordable. They come in different palettes. I have organized mine to be my colors. These are from lots of different palettes, but they're really affordable and they're artist-grade. I probably for cost-conscious people, these are the ones that I would recommend. I would do say that while they're affordable on my end, they're my favorite in terms of cost to quality, my very favorite paints to use for these are Winsor & Newton. I most often reach for indigo. It's blurry, let's see if we can focus that a little. I most often reach for indigo and Payne's gray for these pieces. It doesn't really matter what colors you choose. I have these night sky paintings that are green or this is more purple. But if you really want to get the sky, how it's supposed to look, indigo or Payne's gray, is the way that I would go. I also really love, this is my Greenleaf & Blueberry calligraphy set, and I have a couple of other colors in here. These are handmade paints by Greenleaf & Blueberry and they're awesome. They're a little pricey, not over expensive because they're totally worth it, but these are also higher end. I have lots of other handmade. I love working with contacting makers. But I'm just going to go back on tubed watercolor for a second. Usually, when I do tubed watercolor, I squeeze it onto a palette or an empty pan. I have some empty pans too. I squeeze it onto a palette and then I wait for it to dry all the way and then I use it like it's pan watercolor. Now, not all watercolors recommend doing this because pan watercolor that's initially in the pan, there's a different chemical makeup that makes it specific for pan watercolor and you can more easily activate it more often. It's recommended that if you're going to use liquid watercolor, you use a little bit at a time in a palette, but that's not always available for me. I don't paint all day, this is not my job. I have found that this works really well. I've had these colors in here for a few months and I haven't really had any problems. That's what I'm going to say about paint. This is the paint that I use for my stars, it's Dr. Ph. Martin's bleedproof white and when we to get to the stars video, I'll talk more about that. Then I also use this Sakura Gelly Roll pen for the stars and particularly the shooting star. Finally, brushes, I would recommend getting watercolor round brushes specifically for watercolor. These sizes are the ones I most frequently use, 16, 10 and 0. This specific brand is series 228 from Utrecht and Sublet means it is synthetic sable hair, so it is not real hair. This is synthetic sable hair, and I actually prefer synthetic sable hair over sable hair brushes because I think that it bounces back to its original rigidity easier. That's just my opinion. I picked these up at a Blick Art materials store that I live across the street from. These work really well for me. I also like the Princeton Heritage Series, but these probably are the closest that I've found to the Princeton Heritage Series that are a little bit more cost-effective. There you have it. Those are all the materials that I use for my night sky paintings. I encourage you to either get these materials or to find something similar before you embark on the rest of these videos so that you can do your project along with me. That is your homework assignment, is to gather your materials and see where you might need to make substitutions or make a trip to the art store, which is always fun in my opinion. There you go, can't wait to start painting with you. 3. 1. Prepping the scene: Now that you have hopefully gathered all of the materials that you need, I want to talk about a couple things, and that has to do with water and it has to do with paper. Number one, this is part of the materials I didn't mention in the last video because I felt like it was self-explanatory, but I'm going to talk about it now; you need two cups of water. You might ask yourself, why do you need two? The answer is because one cup needs to stay clear and clean the whole time, and then the other cup you're getting it dirty cup, so it's going to be super muddy, and especially for the techniques we are going to be using, it's really important that you have clean water. You also are going to need a paper towel just when you need with all water coloring. Number 2 is paper, and what happens when you put water on paper. One of the most common questions I get is, Kolbie, how do I keep my paper from buckling? The answer is, it's really hard not to unless you have really expensive £300 watercolor paper. But fear not because there are techniques that we can use. The number one technique that I would recommend is using painter's tape to tape down your watercolor paper or masking tape. I think sometimes masking tape is a little more gentle on the paper. But I usually use painter's tape. If you'll notice in my pieces, they're like brushstrokes. It's like the night sky is painted on there. That's definitely a method that you can use, but I did not use painter's tape on this. If you look at my videos on Instagram, I just had this piece of paper down and didn't use any paper and quickly did my wash. But especially as people are just starting to do these night sky videos, I would really recommend using painter's tape, so I'm going to show you how to do that. I'm just getting a string of tape and taping down. First, I have to make sure I'm on the right side of the paper. There is always a correct side on watercolor paper for you to paint on. One side is the back and one side is the front. Usually, what side has the most texture is the front. I'm just having a thin border here. You can put the tape down however you want depending on what kind of border you want to round the painting. Thick or thin, it doesn't matter. The thicker you do it, the more stable the paper is going to be, so that's something to think about. But this is how I am doing it. I like to do top-top side-side because that way when I take off the paint, which you'll see later on in the class, my tape pieces don't stick together, and I have more control, and I can take off the paint. I'm doing top-top side-side. I usually have a pretty good eye for sizing, but I also don't really care when it comes to loose art like this in terms of, oh, is this the exact size as this? I think that some people care a lot, but I think that imperfections make art what it is. But you can size it up however you want. There you go. That's how you tape down your piece of paper, and it is ready for you to paint. Typically, with this method, you would go straight to the edge. But you can do, with tape, what I did, and just make sure your strokes go not quite to the edge so you can see them. That's up to you. For this class, I'm going to go right to the edge to show you what it looks like with a border since I don't really do that a lot on my Instagram. Your homework after watching this class is to decide whether or not you want to tape down your paper or whether or not you just want to go loose. Just be aware that when you go loose, the paper will buckle and it's trickier to get it to do what you want it to do. Make sure you have your water, and make sure you have your supplies, and let's get going in the next video. 4. 2. First wash of water: This is a quick and easy video. This video is all about the initial wash. By wash, I just mean putting water on the paper. For this first wash, I'm going to use my Size 16 water brush, my paintbrush here because it will allow me to get water on here a lot quicker. I am just going to get started. I'm dipping my paintbrush in this clean water. Since I have this painter's tape down and it's nice and taped down, you always want to make sure that the edges are nice and done, I'm just going to go straight from edge to edge. One of the most common questions I get is, what is that stuff that you put on the paper before you put the paint down. The answer is water. It's just water. It's not any special liquid. I mean, water is special. You don't have to buy it, you just get it from the sink. As long as it's clear and it's clean, then it will work for you. Honestly, just as simple as that. That is what we're going to do in this video. I know that seems simple, but keep in touch and watch the next video to see what happens next. 5. 3. Painting the sky: We don't want to put too much on. Now that we have our water down on the paper, it's time to put down our first drop of paint. You can either stick with the 16-brush or sometimes I move on to the 10. I go down to the 10, but it looks like we're going for the 16 right now. What you're going to do is start at the top and get the darker color on the top. It's not going to be the darkest. It's going to be right now. But what we're doing is just creating a very light gradient. This first kind of night sky forest is honestly, I often just use one color. Sometimes I use another color on the bottom, but to make it as easy as possible we're really just going to use one. I'm showing you how, using water, there's a lot of water on this brush makes it so it creates this nice smooth gradient. At the bottom this page is really light and at the top it's darker. Now, to make it even darker I'm going to dilute. I'm going to use my 10-brush actually. This might be common sense. When you use water it dilutes the paint. To get the paint as pigmented as we want it to be, you want enough water so that it's liquid, but you want not so much that it's diluted. Here, this is not quite as dark as it can get, but it's dark enough for our purposes. I am putting just another quick layer on there. But now it's starting to get where this is a lot darker than right here. I don't want this, the bottom to be as dark as up here. Now, I washed off my brush a little bit. I'm starting from the bottom and I'm just going to knead it at the top. If you want to keep the shade of a lighter shade, the best technique I can tell you is to go from light to dark because that maintains the gradient and it also makes sure that this part doesn't get any darker than it needs to be. For the rest of this, I'm going to again take off water and see if I can get this really pigmented right here so that at the top I can get it really dark. That's definitely darker. Sometimes you can even put black or dark gray on top and mix it with this blue. I think this is indigo. I'm using Prima watercolor confections right now because I really like them and they're the most cost effective. I imagine a lot of people are going to be using these though, you could be using whatever paint. You could even be using paint I didn't show you. We're just honestly creating this gradient is just doing the same thing over and over. But be careful not to put too much water down because the more water you put down, you guessed it, the more the paper is going to buckle. It doesn't have to be exactly smooth. If you want it to be you can definitely get it to be to get the gradient so smooth, but that's going to require a lot of work on your part. It's okay if you want to call it good at some point because the night sky isn't perfect. It has flaws. Sometimes my night sky goes all the way down here and sometimes like right now it's all the way up there. I might see if I can get just a little more pigmented. This is what I do. If you watch my videos on Instagram, and that's why you're here, which is great, you watch my videos sped up by like 24 times usually so that I can fit it into one minute. I'm really excited that I have the opportunity to film this class and show you exactly in real-time what it takes to get the effects that I do in my night sky paintings. I think I'm almost done here. I don't mind if I get this bottom a little bit more dark, a little bit darker, so I'm just going up and down. Sometimes you can't tell if your gradient is smooth until it's already dry. But there you go. I'm going to call this good for now. If you're doing this along with me that's your homework, that's your project. The next step is to put down your wash with your night sky water for this specific night sky. Next time on the next video I'm going to talk a little bit about drying techniques and what I do wait for my next layer. Sounds good. Can't wait to see your progress on these. 6. 4. Drying the first layer: All right everyone. We have the washdown and now it's time to decide how we're going to dry this layer so that we can put on the stars and put in the trees because that's the next step. You may notice in most of my Instagram videos that I use this little thing right here. It's a Darice heat tool. I bought it for 9.99 on Amazon, not sure how much they are now, but there are lots of different heat tools typically used for embossing, but I use it to dry my paintings. You don't have to do that. If you don't have one of these, that's okay, you can wait for it to dry on its own, it's going to take a little bit. I can't give you an exact estimation, but you'll just have to keep watching it. But for the purposes of this video, I'm going to show you how I use this tool. It's going to be loud, so maybe turn down the volume while you're watching. But I'm going to tell you that sometimes I go like this, like shake it a lot to avoid burning in one spot because if you keep it in one spot for too long, it will burn the paper, so just be aware of that. Also note that usually when I dry my paintings, like I'm sure I used it to dry this one, I do the top first and then I do the bottom, and sometimes I even dry the residual liquid that's on my table. Because this is taped, we can't really do that, so it's still going to be a little bit wet, especially on the bottom once I've finished drying the top. That's just something to be aware of. I usually dry the top and the bottom when I don't have tape because this paper is so absorbent that it is wet all over. That's a bad way to describe it, not wet all over, but you use so much water to create this wash that it needs to go somewhere. I also found the drying it on the top and on the bottom sometimes can reduce buckling or not really reduce buckling, but I can shape it into what I want it to be. Sometimes that means like even just going like this after, you'll notice that this is pretty straight, it was not so straight when I first did it. Enough talking [LAUGHTER] I'm going to dry this, and if you don't want to hear the sound, please turn down the volume but you can watch while I dry. [NOISE] But you might still be able to hear me but you'll notice that it takes a little bit longer than it might seem like in the videos. But if you watch closely how the light reflects off of the painting, you can see when parts are dry and when they're not dry. Interesting. I think I left that out there. [NOISE]. I don't know if you've noticed, but the paper is still starting to buckle. Just because it's down in tape doesn't mean it's not going to buckle because like I said, it really depends on the weight of the paper. But now that I've mostly dried it, I'm going to keep the tape on. It's not all the way dry, it's probably still damp on the bottom, but now that it's mostly dry, I'm going to move on. Watch the next video for when I do the stars, that's my next step. But I did want to note that I put a little bit of water up here and it looks like my night sky, the darkest, darkest right along here, this isn't always how it happens, but I really like it. Let's see how yours turns out. 7. 5. Painting the stars: Our next step here is the stars. There are two different methods for the stars. My favorite way is to use this paint, Dr. Ph. Martin's Bleed Proof White, to splatters the stars onto the paper like that. I like the splattering because it's randomized and that's how I feel like stars really look when you look up in the sky. But if you don't have this paint or any other kind of similar paint like it, you could use a white gel pen and draw in the stars yourself. I've definitely done that before and you can make it look really nice. But for the purpose of this class, we are going to use Dr. Ph. Martin's. One thing you should know about Dr. Ph. Martin's Bleed Proof White is it's not the right consistency when you first open it. It's more like a paste and you need to add water to it to make it the right consistency. I like to use my lid as a little mini palette. I don't know if that's weird, but that's what I do. I take a little bit of the paint and splattering stars can be tricky and it can be messy. So that's also another question I get is, "How do you do it without making a mess?" The answer is, I don't. [LAUGHTER] I'm making sure to cover up my paint because I don't want this white paint in my other paint and I'm moving anything else that I wouldn't want the paint to get splattered on. It's really key when I add water here to add some clean water. I don't want to add some muddy water to this because this is white obviously, and if I add even just a little bit tinted, the white is going to be tinted into something else. I also want to say stars can be tricky because you have to get this paint exactly the right consistency. If you get the paint too thin, then it will more easily come off of your paper and be huge blobs. For example, this one, see how big these dots are? That happened because my paint was a little too thin, which seems counter-intuitive. You'd think if it was thick, it would be like that. But no, it was because it was too watery and it came more easily off of my brush. It looks more like snow than stars, which is fine. I went with that. If that's what you want, that's a technique that I would recommend using. But if you want stars, you have to have it. Honestly, there's not really, a, it's about having it not be super watery, but b, also not having too much on your paintbrush. If you'll notice, I'm mixing it in here, but then I'm wiping it on the side. It's just going to take practice for you to figure out what the right consistency is for you. See even that, if it's not thin enough, it's hard to get off. For the record, I'm using a size 0 brush here. But sometimes for stars, I actually like to use bigger brushes, maybe like a three or a four because you can get more paint on there. For now, I'm just going to do this. I'm going to actually switch to that. I think that's what I'm going to do. I'm taking this off. I'm switching to a different brand of paintbrush that I've used in the past. This is Royal and Langnickel paintbrush. It's one of my very first brushes that I used as an artist, which was really good for a beginner, but I now use it mostly for stars. We'll see if this is too thick. Looks fine. If you're wondering what I'm doing, I'm holding with my left hand and just pounding on this with my right hand. Some of you have said, "You could use a toothbrush," and yes, you can use a toothbrush. Some people put paint on the toothbrush and then flick the bristles. For me, that's a lot more messy. See how these are really thick. I put a little bit too much paint on there, which is fine. It's all good. But just be aware of that. For me, this is the way that I like to do it. Thank you to everyone who suggests different things. This is just the way that I've found is the easiest for me. Already I can tell that my consistency here is a little thinner than I might want it because some of the pinks comes off in blobs. But that's fine. It's not all over and there are tons of little stars. I usually do the stars like this, three or four rounds and then look into places. It's really hard to control, so it just takes practice. But I look into places I see that might need some more gaps filled in and I fill them in until I feel like I'm satisfied. I feel like that looks pretty good. You might ask why do the stars first? It's because I'm afraid of the stars splattering onto the trees if I do the stars last. I think that sometimes they even do the stars last anyway. [LAUGHTER] But for this class, I'm going to do the stars first. That looks good to me. I am going to prepare to do my trees next. This paint dries usually pretty fast. So I don't always like to do the dryer before I go on to the trees, but it could be something that you do if you want to or wait for a few minutes. Actually, I forgot one thing. I use this to do a shooting star. For a shooting star, it's really easy. You just pick a spot on the side and draw a dot and then flick out like that. Sometimes it doesn't go. Gel pens can be finicky little things. But it's okay if it's not all in one line because shooting stars are supposed to be ethereal. So I'm going to call that good. That's my shooting star right there. Looks pretty good. Great. Thanks for watching. I would love to see how your stars turnout. Let's now go on to the next video, which is all about the tree silhouettes. 8. 6. Painting the trees: So we've put our wash down, we've made our sky, we have created our stars, and now the next step is to create our trees. Because as I pointed out, in these paintings, I have just little bursts of forests along the bottom to create a forest silhouette. For my trees, I use black watercolor. This is from Prima marketing watercolor confections. You could also use lamp black if you have Winsor and Newton or any other professional watercolor. But honestly, just any black will do. Sometimes I've used black acrylic or black Sumi ink, but with these, I found actually like watercolor is the best. Trees can be really simple, or they can be really detailed depending on how you want, but for this class, I'm going to go with really simple. We're just going to go along the bottom. Honestly, if you think that I have a plan for how the trees are going to go when I first started, I really don't. I just let it go, and I feel like if anything that this class is teaching is that art is all about creating what you feel and creating what feels good too. I'm going to start with first, when you do a tree, you do the trunk and you want to get it as thin as possible. Because these are supposed to be a little, this is going to be one of my tallest trees. I'm here, I'm using a size zero paintbrush, and I could even go smaller than that, but this is what I'm using right now. I'm drawing the trunk, and then really I'm just fanning out the branches based on where the trunk is, and it doesn't have to be perfect. Trees aren't all filled in. Trees are definitely wild and nature, and don't always look the same, and aren't always symmetrical or anything like that. Honestly, I would just practice and figure out what technique works best for you. This is how I've been doing it lately. I've also done a method. I can even do one in a different method. That method was me putting down the trunk and doing it one side at a time. It's a little more realistic, but I've also done trees like this before, where I'm going to do a little trunk, and then I'm just going to go like that. Just do some stripes along the bottom. Those can look really cool too. It's about not being so nervous about where your brush lands or where the branch lands. But just feeling where you think it should go. I'm going to keep creating trees. The trick with making it look like there's some depth here is to make sure that the trees are different sizes. I like to put some in the back that are just so tiny. I'm using barely any pressure here to put some happy little trees down. You've ever seen Bob Ross, which I'm sure all of you have. You can barely even see that tree. But that's the whole point. Is that it's supposed to be far in the distance. I'm going to put some more trees down, and they can be like that, barely have any branches, because some trees in the forest look like that too. These are all like pine trees. But you can do any tree is really for this piece, it's all up to you. I'm doing similar pine trees, some smaller ones. Now, maybe I'll do some over here. I just visualize where I think the balance should go. You could do trees all along the bottom. You could very easily do that. Now look really nice, I've done that lots of times. Or you can just put trees randomly where you think they should go. Again, I'm really just letting my paintbrush do its thing. I don't have a plan for the tree. I've painted a lot of trees and so some of it could be muscle memory. But I am drawing a trunk first, and then just putting in some branches and just dotting my way. I don't know if that's the right phrase, but I'm just moving my paintbrush in the direction of where I think branches would go, and it looks like a tree. It'll take some practice. I think that is always my biggest piece of advice when people ask me how to get better is to practice. There's no shortcut. I wish that there was, but there's really not. I got better by practicing, but I will say that if I can figure out how to do art, I never thought I'd be good at this stuff. You can figure out how to do it. If you practice and you care and you put in the time, I'm sure you can get really good. You probably are already really good and you don't even know it. Then I might do a few in the middle here. Like I said, I just put trees wherever I feel like they should go. I'm sure there are lots of composition techniques that you can learn that are a lot more professional than what I'm doing. But this is a skill that I've taught myself. I mean, also by watching other people do it. But I've never taken any classes or anything. I just tried, and if I can do it, I know that you can too. For now, here's one thing I will say about the trees is, you want to make sure you don't have too much water. You want to have more paint on here than water. Because when you have too much water, it blobs, like I did with that tree. That is a technique that I've learned through experience. You want to have a little bit of water because you need it to activate the watercolor. But you want to have definitely more pigment on there than water. That's why I recommend not using liquid watercolor, especially for trees like this. I'm just filling in where I think they go. Maybe one like here on its own, maybe a couple here on their own. There you have it. Those are my trees, I've done my stars, I've done my wash, and you're almost done. The next step is to, a, decide if you want to letter something or, b, be done. If you want to letter something, go onto the next video, if you like put some words on this. If you want to just be done, probably skip two videos to where I carefully take off the tape. Yay. Can't wait to see all of your projects. These are my favorite things. 9. 7. (Optional) Add lettering: If you're watching this video, it means that you decided you wanted to letter something on your night sky video and you're just not sure how and that's okay. It took me a little bit of tries too because painting over the top of paint can be tricky. The first thing that I would say is decide what color of paint you want to use. I would recommend either black or white depending on how dark your sky is. If your sky was really dark, I think that white lettering, for sure all the way. But if it's light, then black lettering would definitely show up. It looks like my night sky turned out to be a little lighter than other night skies that I've done. For this specific one, I think either black or white would work fine. Because black lettering is pretty easy to figure out, maybe not easy, but I would either use a Tombow Fudenosuke to write on the sky, or I would use a pointed pen with some ink, or you can use watercolor and just watercolor right on it. I think trickier than black is putting white lettering on something, mostly because a lot of white paint doesn't show up and when it does, it's hard to maneuver. I'm going to show you how I do this white lettering with Dr. Ph. Martin's Bleedproof White. Like we talked about before, you have to manipulate this ink so that it's exactly how you want it to be because it's really pasty when it comes in the pot at first. For stars, it needed to be a little bit less. It needed to have a more dense consistency but when you're lettering, it should be a little bit more liquidy like your lettering with watercolor. I'm just going to test it out. It can be so hard because it's hard to get thin lines. The key with this and with painting on is to use as little pressure as possible. I'm going to do my best and we'll see what happens. I'm using as little pressure as I can. There's my stroke. You have to be aware that when you're using arches, especially your paintbrush, will want to catch onto the paper so you have to be really careful. Similar to how we're doing the stars, I want my paintbrush to not have blobs. I want to be able to see my paintbrush, but have enough so that I can still paint with it. So I'm just going to keep going. I might have to take my strokes in parts. That's how I do it. See if I do it right here, my paintbrush has way too much paint on it right now, it's going to be blobby. I need to just take a little bit off and that's a little better. Because if I have too much paint, it doesn't matter how much pressure I put down or how little pressure I put down, it's always going to be blobby. We don't want that. At least I don't want that on my things. I'm going to keep doing that technique. I'm just writing the word believe because that's what I think when I look at the stars. You have to be careful because sometimes this paint, you have to go over it again if you get it too thin. I'm going to keep doing this. I dipped it in water to see if I could get a little bit more of a liquidy consistency. That's a little blobby. I almost done. This is real-time lettering. This is me going fast. This is not a quick hobby. You have to take your time if you want to get it exactly right. There's my lettering on top of my night sky. There it is. I just decided to do one word because as you can see, even with this tiny paintbrush, my letters are pretty big. If you're using a paintbrush, it's difficult to get really small lettering. If you wanted to put a poem or something on top of here, I would recommend either using a Tombow Fudenosuke pen or using a pointed pen. You can also do pointed pen with Dr. Ph. Martin's. You just have to let me get out of nib. I'm not going to letter on this right now but I potentially will, in a later video. What you have to do for this is you get out your nib and you pick up the paint and literally paint it on the nib like that. I'm not painting anything on it. That's why you can't see anything, but you'll paint it on the nib and then use your pointed pen like that. It's more time-intensive. Perhaps in a later video, I'll show you how to do that, but that's the way to get small lettering. Like I said, it can be finicky when you already have a painted background, but it can be so pretty and worth it I think. As far as this night sky painting goes, we are just about done. So head onto the next video to watch as I untape everything. We can see what yours looks like. 10. 8. Finishing touches : You've made it. This is the final step to seeing your finished product. I love taking tape off of things, but it can be tricky which is why it gets its own video [LAUGHTER] because sometimes the paint here acts like a glue. If you're not careful, you can rip off some of the paper along with the tape. My trick is to take it at an angle and to go slow. If you go fast, you might not be able to hear when your paper catches. I've already heard my paper catch a little bit but it looks fine. Great, one side done. Remember how I did top-top, side-side? I did that specifically so this tape wouldn't catch off of here so that I can take the tape, the pieces of tape off one at a time. I'm going slow. See it bled over here where I wasn't done long enough but that's okay. I'm going slower but it looks like it's fine. I will say that professional paper doesn't catch as easily as student grade paper when it comes to painting. I'm using arches right now and that's potentially why it really isn't catching. Strathmore does catch a lot. That's the downside to painting with Strathmore so I would be really careful. If you decided to use Strathmore paper, I would go really slow and at an angle. Just as an example to show you. I'm not sure if this top piece is going to catch, but if it does, if you hear it catching and you see some paper coming up, then stop and go to the next side and start from that side because then you're not perpetuating the rip and the paper and you'll potentially have minimized it. There it is, the finished product. I love these little pieces and I'm just blown away by how gorgeous they always turn out and I mean, it can be time intensive sometimes, but it's honestly a simple way to get a really gorgeous piece. I love selling these, I love making these for people and now I am loving teaching you how to make them. I'm proud of you [LAUGHTER]. I'd love to see any of your progress. Makes sure to tag me on Instagram if you're posting these because I'd love to see that. Maybe share some of your work. I'm also going to have future classes on maybe a more advanced version of this that has lots of different colors or different kinds of silhouettes, different kinds of sky paintings like I've done in the past, but this initial basic class was so fun and I can't wait to see all of the beautiful work that you have completed so feel free to message me and let me. I hope you had a great time. Thanks for tagging along.