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How To Paint Northern Lights In Acrylic Paint, The Easy Way.

Acrylic painting how to paint Northern lights painting advice

Here is the easiest way I have tried out to paint Northern Lights. Seem to be lots of different methods out there but this has been the easiest way I have found so far.

And because it's so easy this shouldn't be a very long blog. I have used interference paints at the end but that's totally optional you don't need them to do this method.

I am doing four different pictures on the same card so I hope that's not to confusing. First off I would say, get some reference photos as this will help make your life easier than trying to make it up. Also will make your lights look a lot more believable.

You will need: Black paint, White paint, Whatever colours you want to use for the lights, Clear painting medium. Optional: Interference paints the colours of the lights.

Something to paint on. I am using a acrylic canvas sheet taped to a board to be cut up later for cards. But you can use a stretched canvas if you wish or anything else for that matter that you want.

Step 1: Paint your whole canvas black. Dry

Step 2: Looking at you reference, take your white paint with a little painting medium and put in the shapes where your northern lights are going to be. Spatter in some stars using watered down white paint . Dry

Step 3: Mix your colours with the clear painting medium and glaze your colours in over the white where you want them. I use mostly transparent colours to increase that transparent look. You don't have to worry about going over on to the black as the colours are made thin and see through by the clear painting medium. Dry

Now take a look, do you need to increase any colours by doing another coat? Sometimes it's hard to tell when using clear painting medium until it's dry. I do thin pale coats as I can always add more. If you go to far and you want to tone it down you will need to go over it with white again.

Step 4: This step is Optional. Mix your interference paints with some clear painting medium and glaze in over your colours. Matching the colours eg. red over red, green over green etc. you don't need to do all the colours just where you would like it to glow the brightest.

Now I just remembered that I also used some iridescent medium on this one as well. Again totally optional. I mixed it with the clear painting medium and brushed it over the whole thing in a thin layer. Just because I can't resist a bit of sparkle. 

Step 5: Using your black paint put in your silhouette for your foreground.


 I have also used a litter colour with the black where I think the lights would be shining on the foreground. Still keeping it dark just adding some interest.

 So that's it. The Simplest way to do northern lights that I have tried to date. Let me know how you get on.

 Now if you want to give a Watercolour Galaxy a try as well as this acrylic one then here is a video for you!



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