Since the 1970s, spray paint has been the iconic tool of the graffiti artist but it is also an effective medium to create realistic space paintings. Despite the limitations of spray paint, making a space painting is surprisingly easy. Anybody can be a spray paint artist. All that is needed is a few spray cans, old newspaper and a very simple technique to turn layers of paint into an amazing intergalactic masterpiece.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Glossy poster paper
- Glossy spray paints
- Newspapers or magazines
- Plates, cups or bottle tops
Lay down a white sheet of glossy paper. Choose a light colour spray paint--white or yellow, etc. Spray a rough circle of colour, anywhere on the paper to start making a planet. Spray other planet circles on the paper, either the same size or different sizes to create the illusion of space. Circles do not need to be precise.
Select a darker colour. Spray this colour directly over the top of the light coloured planets. Keep layering more colours if desired. Finally, spray the colour black over the planets.
Pick up an old sheet of newspaper or rip out a magazine page. Lay it over a planet. Press it down. Lift off the paper carefully to reveal an effective planet-like colour pattern. Repeat this step on other planets made if applicable.
Pick up your can of black spray paint. Spray an eclipse of black over your planets. As an example, you can spray an edge of black over one half of the planet to create a dark shadow.
Find a round object of a similar size to your planet. Use old plates, bowls or bottle tops, etc. Place the hollow part of the round object over the planet upside down so that it does not spoil or touch the planet pattern. It acts a paint guard ready for the next step.
Spray black paint over the rest of the paper to create empty space.
Use white or silver spray paint to create some stars. Press the cap gently to splatter dots of colour over the black to create a scattered star effect to complete a basic space painting.
Tips and warnings
- Be playful and experimental in your approach to space painting. Create cliffs, water, islands as well as your planets. Use the same technique of layering colours on top of each other from light to dark, applying colour wet on wet, and using newspaper to create the random galaxy patterns. Create templates out of paper for land formations to create different shapes. Scrape detail into the paint with a craft knife to reach the white of the paper or drag paint across the paper using a ruler to create other space effects.
- Use spray paints outdoors to work in a well ventilated area to avoid inhaling harmful paint fumes.
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