Comets & Painting the Night

a watercolor painting of a night sky with a cometI know it's been in the news a fair bit recently, but have you gotten the chance to see Comet Neowise yet?

We woke our kids up last night and ventured out to a local hilltop park. I wasn't sure the kids would actually wake up (and my youngest wasn't sure about being out in the dark), but we did it, and we managed to spot the comet!

We live in a metro area with a lot of light pollution, so the comet was very faint. It looked almost like a star, except if you stared long enough to make out its tail. 

I know it would be a lot more interesting to look at if we traveled further out away from the city lights, but it was still a fun adventure, and this morning, the kids and I tried using wax crayons to create watercolor nightscapes!

These kinds of paintings are really easy, if you want to give them a try! We used wax crayons that I had around from ages ago, but a regular white crayon or oil pastel would work too, as long as it's not a washable crayon.

Start by filling the the space you want to keep white (a comet streak, stars, or even a moon), then paint over that with watercolors. Wait for that to dry, then add in some hill or tree textures along the horizon line.

That's all it takes!

You could probably make it a lot neater by taping down the paper first (which is a good idea with watercolor paints in general), but we were just messing about, so I didn't worry about that, and I was even painting on the back of an old drawings. That's why my page has scuffy edges and weird stains! I haven't used traditional paints in a long time, though, so this was a fun practice project.

Plus, my oldest created his own nightscape with Saturn. I'm really enjoying this rather unique perspective on Saturn's rings!

If you are interested in reading about space and the night sky, check out this list with some of our favorite children's books on the topic!

a watercolor painting of Saturn with its rings

Have you used water resistant crayons in paintings before? What did you make with them?