Watercolorist and author of "Everyday Watercolor," Jenna Rainey is showing you how to create you own work of art.
Starry Forest Moon Painting


  • Cold Pressed 140lb watercolor paper (I use Stonehenge Aqua Cold Pressed paper in a 9"x12" block)
  • Size 2 and 6 synthetic sable round brushes (I use Heritage series 4050 brushes from Princeton)
  • Mars Black, Prussian Blue and Opera Rose professional level watercolor by Winsor and Newton
  • Sea salt in a grinder
  • White goauche (for stars)
  • Two water cups for rinsing brushes and paper towels!
  • Palette
  • HB or #2 pencil for sketching circle
  • Something circular and about 6" in diameter for tracing a circle on paper


  1. Mapping out placement and sketching circle on paper
  2. With the larger brush (size 6) load up with a ton of water and a touch of PB watercolor and fill in the entire circle with a light value of really wet Prussian Blue
  3. With the same brush, quickly load up with a thicker amount of PB and punch this into areas within the circle for this to bleed (using wet on wet technique) to create a darker sky affect. While circle is still wet, plug in some even darker values using PB and MB together, and touches of OR down at the base of the circle where the trees will go. This will leave you with a softly blended gradient of Pink to slightly purple, to blue, deeper blue and black.
  4. While the circle is still wet, grab the salt shaker and crack sea salt on top of the circle. These grains of salt will become activated when they’re cracked and create a fun spider web or cloud texture when they get wet!
  5. Wait for this layer to completely dry, then load your size 2 brush up with a thick amount of MB for the trees. Using the tip of the brush, create straight lines that point toward the center of the circle and stagger in height. Picture lying on your back in the middle of a forest and looking up at the stars. Trees are surrounding you, this is what we’re going for. Once you have your trunks down, angle your size 2 brush a little closer to the paper and brush or flick out branches on the sides of the trunks.

(Optional): Wash your size 2 brush off completely and load up with white gouache. Flick the handle of the brush with the tip pointing towards the circle and let the gouache spray random dots across the moon for a starry effect.

How to Start a Garden
How to Start a Garden