DIY: Galaxy Art!

Seattlites are in the midst of the most dreaded time of year...Juneuary.  Temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s become exciting in the Spring. By April and May the sun seems to make itself known after an 7 month leave of absence.  Alas, Juneuary comes around and all that joy is snatched away.  In a matter of days the heater is back on and we see only grey skies ahead.  Much like January...but in June.

While my last post was about DIY Dip Dye Shorts, for my own sanity I needed to step away from my desire to wear summer clothes.  So when it is rainy I tend to stay inside and work in the studio on various art/crafty projects to improve the home atmosphere.  Since galaxy print frocks, tees, and the like are all the rage I decided to create a version that's wearable for my wall.  This is where I bring out the ol’ watercolor palette I have had for 18+ years.  And if you are in need of a therapeutic swish of pigment and water on paper than this is the project for you!

  • Watercolor paper or Bristol paper
  • Masking tape
  • Watercolor paint
  • Various large size watercolor brushes (Natural fibers work best.  For this project I used a large brush similar to most blush brush sizes) 
  • Liquid Masque (Found at art supply stores like Artist & Craftsman or Daniel Smith in the watercolor section.  It basically acts as a barrier between the paper and paint that you can later remove without ripping the paper. If you do not want to by this fancy stuff then use hot glue or tacky glue.  You just will not be able to peel it off the paper)
  • Something to apply the Liquid Masque:  This can be the end of a paintbrush or a needle.  I used a special rubber brush but anything small and solid will work if you do not mind getting goo all over it. 
  • Rubber eraser (usually sold next to the Masque Liquid)
  • Jar of water

Firstly, tape the paper to flat surface like a table.  Tape it tight since it will wrinkle when water is applied.  Then you want to create stars by dabbing little drops of the Liquid Masque with your rubber brush.  I think this works best if you do various sizes in small concentrations.  Look up galaxy images if you need to.  Let this dry about 20 minutes or more based on the size of your stars. 

Now wet your paper with a large brush.  Not soaking wet but just enough to cover the entire paper.  Now immediately add paint!  I used a lot of purple and dark greys.  I then accented with a big of pink and yellow.  I went pretty light with my colors but you can go darker if you need to.  Just be sure to act quick and not overdo the water.  As you can see the paint really does all the work in this process.  The wet paper allows the paint to puddle and create its own dimension. 

If you you used too much water you may need to tighten the paper a bit as it dries.  Just peel up the tape a bit and carefully re-stretch the paper a bit.  This way it will dry more flat.  After it is fully dry you can then use the rubber eraser to pick up the Liquid Masque.  This the exciting part because the contrast of the white with the pigment really adds dimension.  Now just trim the edges where you had the tape and hang in a nice white frame. 

This would be great in smaller scale as well.  Cards or postcards would be cute too.
Happy Painting,


CleverPlumage (Hillery Sawyer) said...

What a great little DIY I love the galaxy idea and all your tips are awesome! I love water colors and have put mine away for sometime, looks like this is just the project to pull them out of their slumber! Thanks again!

Hanifah Husein Hizbullah said...

Thank you! Can't wait to try make one :)

Jeremi Sara said...

This is beautiful! I had been feeling the urge to paint something but was lacking the inspiration at the moment...This is perfect. Thank you!!!


eef said...

Very pretty! You can get a similar effect without liquid masque using salt! I found a video for anyone interested: http://youtu.be/ycJ08rbnKAk

Telly said...

Love the DIY....but don't feel bad about Juneuary. It's going to be 105 in Dallas today and it's 8am and already 85...guess I better take a quick walk with my toddler before we hide out in our cave again....

Felicia said...

How pretty! Definitely going to be trying this soon, I need more art to fill the new walls in my home :)

Anna Zimmerman said...

How beautiful! What a great idea.

Ashlee Dearie said...

This is really quite awesome! It looks easy enough and would make a great little display in my apartment this fall! Thanks so much for sharing! <3

Amanda k. said...

Haha, Juneuary! I live in Bellingham, and totally agree...this term describes the weather perfectly! Love this project, looks so pretty.

erin said...

So pretty and creative :)

Helen Overton said...

I love DIYs and this one is just brilliant, I will definitely give this one a go, it's stunning!

Lilah said...

Gorgeous artwork!

agnes szucs said...

very-very nice! and i also like how nicely it's presented.

agnes / iiiinspired

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Lindsay said...

I use sea salt + rubbing alcohol to get some really cool effects like this too. I like to use them in the backgrounds of my paintings to add texture. :)

danaeL said...

Beautiful idea! I want to try :)
I like your blog, and your works are so pretty... bye danaeL

Sarah Evans said...

This is an awesome DIY - I love it! Also, your blog is so lovely and lovingly designed.


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