How to Paint a Glowing Moon

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Subtle layers of paint are used to give a painting of the moon a soft, glowing effect. Placed against a darkened night sky, this effect gives a painting a sense of depth and atmosphere. An artist creates a wash by mixing acrylic paint colors with varying amounts of water. This wash is then applied lightly and gradually to bring out the subject in the painting. Add a realistic glowing moon to your painting to give it a romantic or enigmatic feel.

Things You'll Need

  • Canvas
  • Bowl of water
  • Large paintbrush
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Hairdryer
  • Medium paintbrush
  • Blue acrylic paint
  • White acrylic paint
  • Small paintbrushes (various sizes)
  • Lay the canvas flat on a clean work surface.

  • Apply a coat of black acrylic paint to the entire surface of the canvas using a large paintbrush. Dry this layer with a hairdryer and apply a second coat.

  • Use a medium paintbrush to apply a coat of blue acrylic paint to the center portion of the canvas while the second coat of black paint is still wet. Create uneven edges about two inches away from the edges of the canvas to simulate a cloudy night sky. Dry this layer with a hairdryer when finished.

  • Mix one part white paint with two parts water to create a thin white wash. Apply this wash to the center of your painting with a medium paintbrush. Gently and gradually brush the mixture on in the shape of a circle, but keep the edges soft and faded. Use a hairdryer to dry this layer when finished.

  • Create a thicker wash by mixing one part white paint with one part water. Start in the center of the previous wash and work outward with a medium paintbrush to intensify the glow effect. Keep this layer smaller than the previous wash so that both remain visible.

  • Add the moon to the painting. Draw in the outline of the moon with white paint using a small paintbrush, then fill it in completely with the white paint.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider painting your moon in a different phase, such as a full moon or waxing crescent.
  • Paint clouds in your night sky to partially obscure the moon's glow. Begin by painting dark clouds, then add a slight halo effect using white paint to give your clouds the appearance of being backlit.
  • Add stars to your painting by creating small, glowing dots around the moon in varying sizes and colors. Stars typically appear in the night sky as white, light blue and pale yellow dots.
  • Blend yellow and white paint to tint your moon's glow, or purchase a specialty color from your local art supply store.
  • Use glow-in-the-dark paint to create your moon's glowing effect.
  • Apply an acrylic sealer to your finished painting to protect it from sunlight and damage.

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  • Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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