How to draw the night sky

Written by morgan o'connor
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The night sky has captivated countless generations of stargazers for thousands of years. It has guided lost sailors, offered hope to those who desperately make a wish on a shooting star and helped separated lovers feel closer by offering the reassurance that they're both looking at the same moon. The night sky has also inspired artists, perhaps most famously Vincent Van Gogh who painted "Starry Night." However, you don't have to be a famous artist to capture a bit of the night sky on paper.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Sheet of dark blue or black paper
  • Silver or white gel or metallic pen

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  1. 1

    Observe the patterns of stars in the night sky. If there is too much light pollution to do this where you live, you can find images of the night sky on the Internet.

  2. 2

    Read about and become familiar with various constellations and their positions in relation to each other. For a basic drawing, stick to familiar constellations such as Orion, Ursa Major (also known as the Big Dipper), Ursa Minor (also known as the Little Dipper) and Cassiopeia.

  3. 3

    Use your pen to recreate the constellations on your piece of paper. For a more realistic picture, put the constellations approximately where they would actually be in relation to each other.

  4. 4

    Fill in the empty spaces in the sky with small dots using your pen. This will help create the effect of a real night sky, since there are many stars not included in the major constellations.

  5. 5

    Draw the moon somewhere in the sky you've created. A crescent may be more recognisable than a large circle representing the full moon.

  6. 6

    If you're feeling creative and not worried about realism, you can also draw various other items associated with the night sky. For example, you could include a planet with a ring around it, a rocket ship or a comet.

Tips and warnings

  • Make some stars slightly larger than others for a more realistic effect. You can also achieve a "glow" around the stars by gently but quickly smudging the ink of each star while it is still wet.

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