I was born in northern Finland, so I've had the privilege of seeing the northern lights several times in my life. They never fail to impress me. In this tutorial, I will show you how I paint the northern lights with watercolors and how you can paint them as well.
What You´ll Need
The Wet-On-Wet Technique
The wet-on-wet technique I used involves wet paint on a wet surface. It's important that the paper stays in place, so I'd recommend taping it onto the table underneath. I often use masking tape or washi-tape to do this because they don't contain too much glue. This makes them easy to peel off without ripping the paper.
1. Add a Wash
Wet your paintbrush and go over the whole paper. Don't use any color at this point.
2. Drip the Paint
You can't see it from the pictures, but I'm using an easel to paint. This allows the paint to drop and create interesting effects. Start by applying the colors. I started with a mixture of green and blue and then moved on to purple. The colors mix in the paper. At this point, only your imagination is the limit for the colors you use.
3. Add Another Layer
After the first layer has dried, apply another layer and use brighter colors this time. Let the colors spread and mix with each other.
4. Paint the Northern Lights
If you've ever seen the lights, you'll notice that they have this ”curtain” type of look to them. You can easily create this effect with a sponge.
5. Add Snowflakes
Now, it's time to add some snowflakes! I used the toothbrush technique.
6. Paint the Trees
Add tall spruce trees to finish the landscape. For this, I used black acrylic paint. I wanted to create it from the perspective of a viewer looking up to the sky. The trees that are ”closer” are bigger, and the ones that are farther away are smaller. It's all about perspective
Artist and Illustrator. Mythology and Folklore enthusiastic. Keen traveler. Comes from Finland. Likes cats, tea, and such.