Watercolor Galaxy Silhouette Tutorial. Jocie of One Project Closer is sharing a step-by-step tutorial on how to create this stunning Watercolor Galaxy Silhouette artwork.
Watercolor Galaxy Silhouette Tutorial
Hi there, friends. I’m super excited to share with you today this fun Watercolor Galaxy Silhouette Tutorial that you can create at home yourself to varying degrees of difficulty. I first started this project back in May when my kids stayed home with me for “Take Your Daughter to Work Day.” They were thrilled to stay home and blog with mom…up until the moment I made them do all the work! LOL, I may have also had them fold laundry and clean bathrooms because that’s also what I do when I’m working.
After the chores were done, my daughters Isabella and Lucy came into my craft room with me to start this simple watercolor Silhouette. I’ll walk you through how to do it, and you can create your own, with or without the lettering.
- Watercolor Paper
- Painter’s Tape
- White, Hi-Polymer Eraser
- Watercolor Paint (see my faves here)
- Watercolor brush
- Liquid Frisket
- BleedProof White
- Old (but clean) toothbrush
First, the girls took each other’s pictures up against a white wall. They loved this step!
STEP TWO (optional)
With the kids, I sent the silhouette of my daughter’s head to my Silhouette Cameo to make a stencil. If you are looking for a super easy project, this is the method for you! Once the image is in the Silhouette Design program, select the trace icon to trace the outside edge of the silhouette.
Then cut a stencil onto the adhesive stencil. Skip to step four.
After taking the picture, print or send to your iPad for a paperless option. I used the iPad as a light box to transfer the image onto watercolor paper. If using the iPad or a lightbox, turn off the lights in the room for a crisper view of the silhouette you are tracing.
Either on your iPad or a scrap piece of paper with the silhouette outline, design your hand lettering quote on the inside of the silhouette. I chose this beautiful quote from Harriet Tubman, “reach for the stars to change the world.”
When designing the inside of your silhouette, make sure to leave enough of an edge around the lettering. This will allow with words to pop without taking away from the general shape of your silhouette. You also want to evenly fill the space so that it does not appear lopsided or uneven. I enjoy mixing my lettering styles a bit to add extra focus on specific words, while also making it a bit easier to read.
Once your design is lightly transferred onto watercolor paper with pencil, lightly erase the pencil so it is just barely able to be seen. I use a hi-polymer eraser – they are cheap and leave less residue.
Then, using liquid frisket, trace the lettering only. When using liquid frisket, use lots of water, dipping and cleaning the brush almost regularly or the frisket will ruin your brush.
Let the frisket dry completely. As you can tell, it’s tough to see the liquid frisket on the paper – it comes out looking wet and almost like Elmer’s glue. The frisket will eventually be removed.
Once your lettering is painted with Liquid Frisket, and the silhouette is penciled in, you are ready to paint.
Use Blue Painter’s Tape to affix the paper to a wooden board or the table. This will prevent the paper from curling or warping when wet.
My daughters loved this part. I used a stencil I cut from my cameo so they could paint without worrying about painting outside of the lines.
Start by wetting the entire silhouette with water. It’s essential to work reasonably quickly, so it doesn’t dry creating hard lines.
Then, while the water is still wet, add sections of blue, teal, pink and purple. You can pull up pictures of real galaxies for inspiration if you are worried about where to put color.
I put the pink concentrated in the middle of the head and used darker colors and saturation on the outside.
Once you have covered the entire silhouette with color, allow it to completely dry. I usually get impatient and pull out my hairdryer to speed along the process.
Once dry, go back and add color to intensify the color and to blend, where needed. Don’t over think it!! That’s my biggest advice. Whenever I paint watercolor galaxies, I get nervous about it looking perfect, and it always comes out great!
You can repeat this process a few times until you are happy with the color but don’t overwork the paper too much when it is wet, or the paper will break down.
Here comes the fun part – the STARS!!!
Using Bleedproof White or white acrylic paint and a stiff toothbrush, rub your thumb along the brush to create splatter. Have fun and don’t worry about perfection! You can also use a stiff ppaintbrushand tapping to flick paint onto the surface, but that creates a bigger and less predictable splatter.
When happy with the splatter, use a small paintbrush to add in larger stars.
Once everything is totally dry, its time to remove the frisket. I’m serious, now. COMPLETELY DRY! I have ruined bunches of projects because I was so eager to see the finished project and removed the frisket too soon. This might say something about me, but there is nothing I love more than peeling frisket! It is so satisfying!!! But like I said, make sure the watercolor is really, really dry. Consider yourself officially warned.
You can use an eraser to help remove it, but I find the easiest way to remove it is to simply rub you finger against it until it balls up and begins to rub against itself. Once you have a small corner, you can pull it up.
Finally, use bleedproof white to touch up any rough edges along the silhouette or wording, and enjoy your custom piece of art!
So maybe you don’t have cute little kids to make a silhouette out of, you love this look but don’t want to go through all the work. I got you, girl! Head on over to One Project Closer for a free 8×10 Printable of this Harriet Tubman Galaxy Silhouette!
If you loved this tutorial, check out these other great projects and tutorials – I just know you will love them too!
from One Project Closer
Jocie (pronounce jah-see) is an editor at One Project Closer. A blog 10 years strong, OPC is a DIY site for the whole family, sharing everything from how to install floating vinyl floors, to tons of free printables and Home Depot coupons. Jocie lives in a suburb of Baltimore, MD with her husband and blog partner, Ethan and their two super cute (but crazy) kids, Isabella and Lucy. Blogger by day and mom by night, she enjoys crafting with the kids, reading a good book in her spare time (which is close to never), and hand lettering to relax. You can follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!