Ideas for Black Light Paintings


Black light paintings are a simple way to spice up any room or hang out area. Unlike regular paintings, when put under a UV light, these paintings glow brightly. The colors appear vivid and florescent. There are many options for creating an interesting black light painting of your very own.


  • The first step in creating a black light painting is to choose the subject you want to paint. Scenes of space and planets are common subjects for UV reactive paintings because of their whimsical quality. In the black light, stars and planets will glow brightly from the surrounding blackness of space. Animals are also featured in black light paintings often. Strong animals like bears, wolves and tigers create a sense of power, while other animals, like octopuses and butterflies impart a visually interesting delicate feeling.

Base Material

  • Most paintings are completed on a piece of canvas stretched over a wooden frame, however, you can make your black light painting on other materials. Poster paper is a good choice because it is accessible and inexpensive to obtain. White paper would glow brightly, which may or may not be the look you are going for. If not, black paper is also an option, as well as neon-colored paper. Velvet is another material you can paint on, which would create a texturally interesting painting.


  • To create a successful black light painting, you need to have paint that glows under UV light. White paint of most varieties usually glows in UV light. Many fluorescent colors such as lime green, hot pink and bright yellow are UV reactive, but not always. You might want to purchase a small bottle of the paint to test it. UV reactive paint is available on the market in many colors that glow intensely under a black light, but this kind of paint is more costly.


  • There are several kinds of painting techniques that would look great when used in a black light painting. The most obvious one is using a paintbrush to create a realistic style of work. This is the best choice when working with a subject with a lot of details. The second option is to use stencils. You can purchase pre-made stencils or create some of your own. Using stencils allows you to layer the shapes to create a 3-D looking painting. You can also use a splattering technique to make a unique and dramatic painting.

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