Abstract Galaxy with Shimmers Watercolor Painting

design team - vanessa Jan 06, 2022
Paint an abstract galaxy

Have you ever looked at your stash of metallic or shimmery watercolor paints and wondered how to use them?

Hi, Vanessa Lesniak here to bring you another tutorial!  Today I am showing you just how easy it is to use metallic/shimmery watercolor.  While you can also use them as accents to your pieces, we are painting an entire abstract galaxy with them!




Let’s get started!


You can also watch this tutorial!



Step 1: Grab Your Pencil and Sketch

This doesn’t have to be perfect, that’s why it’s abstract!  Find the middle of your paper and draw a circle.  Draw an equal sized circle underneath and a smaller one on top.  

Transform the upper circle into a crescent moon by erasing one side and drawing a half circle.

Place your ruler horizontally across the center of the middle circle.  Mark a tiny dot in the center.  Use that dot as your guide to draw lines radiating out from the center.  

Draw another crescent moon along the lower edge of the bottom circle. 




Step 2: Grab Your Shimmers and Start Painting!

I will be using two colors in this piece, feel to use as many as you’d like.  The first color is Lyra, a multichrome that shimmers in different colors depending on how the light hits it.  It is a very transformative color that adds a lovely overall effect to the piece.  

Outline the center and bottom circles in Lyra.  Paint in both crescent moons with the same color.



Using a gold shimmer, Solaris, outline the radiating lines that you sketched out.  Give the lines a little interest by breaking them up instead of drawing straight lines.  



Let it completely dry.


Looking for perfect brushes to paint with? Grab the TPL Studio Brush Set - your ultimate cruelty-free artist paint brushes here.


Step 3: Add Details to Your Piece

Draw a star in the center of the middle circle.  Start by drawing a cross and a diamond in the middle, curve the edges.  Add small dots of color to the ends of the star and an ‘x’ in the middle to simulate a shining star.

Next, more interested will be added to the radiating lines by painting in some circles scattered around the lines.  



Let it completely dry


Step 4: Add Even More Interest to Your Galaxy

Take a step back and look at your piece, if you are satisfied, you can stop here.  Otherwise, let's keep adding more and more details.  

With the first color used, Lyra, add small crescent moons and stars to the background of the piece.  Load up your brush with paint and splatter paint all over the piece by tapping the loaded brush against another.

Let’s also fill in some space in the inside of the center circle by add a series of dots along the inner edges.



Finally, fill in the lower circle by adding radiating lines inside of it (make sure to follow the lines outside of the circle to keep them symmetrical).  Add a few dots of your second color, Solaris in my case, along the lines of the bottom circle.



With that final step, we are done!  


Vanessa spent 16 years as a social worker and originally began experimenting with watercolor as a form of self care and it became a profound passion.  With the encouragement and support of her wife and 3 daughters, she became a full time artist and small business owner.  She now shares her passion through workshops and online tutorials. Check out more of Vanessa's tutorials here!