“Not only are we in the universe, the universe is in us.
I don’t know of any deeper spiritual feeling than what that brings upon me.”
– Neil deGrasse Tyson
Beyond Belief: Science, Reason, Religion and Survival, Salk Institute for Biological Studies
November 7, 2006
Microscopes and telescopes have at least one thing in common: they each have a lens. Their lens is their perspective on the world around them.
As an artist, I can look through both of these scientific instruments, and even though I may not fully understand the complex science behind what I am seeing, I can see the magnificent beauty that the lens allows me to witness: colors, textures, lines, shapes, and more. From cells on a slide to stars in the galaxies, there are so many gorgeous mysteries for us to admire if we take the time to focus on them.
In keeping with this sense of wonder inspired by the mysteries of the universe, I’ve chosen a watercolor constellation as this month’s art project. As you create it, I encourage you to slow down and view your painting as the unknown. You can’t predict how it will look, or even control it, but if you let yourself experiment and play with the paint, you will be amazed at what you witness! The process of painting wet on wet (the technique we will be using) and watching the paint move and mix so organically is a form of meditation. Let yourself simply enjoy the mystery of your painting.
WONDERS OF THE UNIVERSE: WATERCOLOR CONSTELLATION PAINTING
- Watercolor paper
- Watercolor paint
- Watercolor brush
- Coarse Sea Salt
- White Paint Pen
- Black cardstock
STEP 1: Trace a circle on watercolor paper using a paper plate as your guide.
STEP 2: Begin by painting inside the circle with only water.
STEP 3: Add watercolor to the wet areas inside the circle and let the colors mix and blend naturally. For my example, I used dark blue, light blue, dark purple, black, and a touch of pink.
STEP 4: While the paper is still wet, sprinkle coarse sea salt onto the circle. As it dries, this will create a beautiful visual texture.
STEP 5: Let it dry completely.
STEP 6: Over a trash can, use a paper towel to scrape off the sea salt from your painting.
STEP 7: Using a paint pen (gel or acrylic) recreate the pattern of your favorite constellation! I chose Cassiopeia.
STEP 8: Cut out the circle and glue it down to a solid color/clean background.