Starry Night Artwork

Starry Night Watercolor Art

Suitable for All Levels
By: Sophia Vida

 This is a very easy project suitable for beginners to advanced painters.


– Strathmore 5×7 Watercolor Paper – 140 lb Cold Pressed
– Princeton ½” One-Stroke Flat Watercolor Brush
– Inexpensive small ¼” paint brush for masking
– Raphael Travel Watercolor Set (available at, or
– Stickles Star Dust
– Colourless Art Masking Fluid

– Black Sharpie Fine Tip Marker
– Toothbrush that you can use for art
– Black Frame with Mat
– Printed sentiment from the computer
– Carbon paper

Basic Supplies

– Blue Painters Tape
– Paper Towels
– Water Container
– Spray bottle with water
– Clear work surface for painting


  1. Choose your favorite sentiment. For this project I used a quote by Pamela Vaull Starr: “Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep for every dream precedes your goal.” I printed this with the Gabriola Font at size 32. Depending on your sentiment and the font you choose, play with the size and layout to get the result you want. Set this piece aside for later use.
  2. Using the painters tape, tape the edges of the watercolor paper to your work surface. Leave a ¼” to ½” border. Tip: make 2 light pencil marks on each side ¼” to ½” from the edge to help guide you on where to put the tape. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect, just fun!
  3. Draw a half moon in the top left corner of your paper. You can use a small jar or lid to help with the outline.
  4. Dip your ¼” brush into the Masking Fluid and paint the half moon. Let dry. Wash your brush immediately in soapy water.
  5. Dip your toothbrush into the Masking Fluid. Using your finger spray the fluid over your paper and let dry. The masking fluid will resist the paint and give the effects of stars in the background. Wash your brush immediately in soapy water.
  6. Dip your flat ½” One-Stroke brush in the clean water and wet the entire piece of watercolor paper. You don’t want to make puddles but make sure to get it good and wet. 
  7. Activate your watercolors by spraying the colors you will be using with a little water. The colors used in this example were blue, purple, red and yellow. When painting a dark starry sky you will start with the darkest colors at the top and work your way down to the lighter colors. 
  8. Remove any excess water from your flat ½” One-Stroke brush by dabbing it on a paper towel. Pick up some of the blue and paint it across the very top of your paper.
  9. Rinse your brush and dab the excess water on a paper towel. Then pick up some purple and paint it directly under the blue. Allow your colors to run together and blend. Tip: You don’t need to paint in a straight line. Use your imagination and think of a sunset sky. Paint with curves and some open areas so you can add the next color from below to the open area above.
  10. Rinse your brush and remove the excess water. Pick up the red and paint it under the purple. Again allow your colors to run together and blend.
  11. Rinse your brush and remove excess water. Pick up the yellow and paint it under the red. Allow the colors to run together and blend. Let dry.
  12. Once your painting has dried, use your fingers to gently rub off the masking fluid. You can also use a gum eraser but I found using my fingers worked the best.
  13. Lay your carbon paper across the bottom of the painting. Place your sentiment from Step 1 on top of the carbon paper. Double check your placement to make sure it fits on the painting correctly. Using a pen or stylus, trace your sentiment onto the painting.
  14. Remove the sentiment and the carbon paper and you will see your sentiment on the painting. Using the Sharpie Marker trace over the lettering. Tip: If you prefer, you can skip steps 13 and 14 and write your sentiment freehand.
  15. Use your Stickles to outline the moon and highlight a handful of stars. Gently peel off the painters tape from your painting.
  16. Mount your picture in the frame and Voila! You have a beautiful work of art!!!


Tips: Make sure to rinse your brush each time you change colors so you don’t muddy your paints.

          You want the colors to run together in some places on your paper to give you a very unique look and create new colors as they mix.

          Do not leave the Masking Fluid on your paper for long periods of time or it will be harder to remove and may even damage the paper.

         When using watercolor paints always start with less color. If the color is not bright enough for you then you can always add more. But once you have too much, it’s almost impossible to remove.

Thanks for looking and enjoy making your Starry Night Artwork!

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15 thoughts on “Starry Night Artwork

    • Hi Vanessa! Thank you for your wonderful comments!!!! After talking with several different artists I was surprised to find that quite a few do use some form of transfer whether it’s carbon paper or projector to transfer their image to the work surface. I like using the carbon paper for the lettering because it makes it a lot easier to keep everything on a straight line and evenly spaced. I discovered the masking fluid last year and use it all the time. It’s fantastic!!! ~Sophia

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