One of our sponsored artists has been cranking out some amazing glow paintings on his instagram account (@georgegroeg001) and was nice enough to put together this step by step guide on how to create a glow in the dark jellyfish painting for us. You'll get the best results using an airbrush like George did but any airbrush step in this guide could be done using traditional paint brushes as well. Follow along and create your own glowing masterpiece!
The supplies you'll need for this how-to are:
- Assorted paint brushes
- Acrylic paint (black, blue, white)
- Art 'N Glow Glow In The Dark Acrylic Paint or Glow Powder
- A stretched canvas, canvas board, or any other acrylic appropriate painting surface
- Airbrush (preferred for this tutorial but any of the airbrush steps can also be done with a paint brush)
- Transparent airbrush base (Amazon Link) or gloss acrylic medium if using traditional brushes
- Airbrush reducer (not needed if using traditional brushes)
- Blow dryer or heat gun (optional)
- Paper, a pen or pencil, and an exacto knife for the stencil (optional)
- A black light to check the glow as it's applied. Here are two great options from Amazon: American DJ Blacklight Fixture and Sunlite Compact Fluorescent Black Light Bulb. Alternatively you could charge the painting with our 9 LED UV flashlight then turn the lights off to check the glow)
With that I'll hand it over to George!
"First step is to have an idea of what you want to paint and check out reference pictures online. For this guide I'll be painting a jellyfish.
The first thing you want to do is paint the background. For this I did blue and black.
I just drop paint right on the canvas and spread it out. Adding more as needed for full coverage. Keep in mind the glow paint and powders need a light colored back ground to glow their brightest.
Use a heat gun or blow dryer to speed up the drying. Be careful not to apply too much heat to one spot or you could cause bubbling. Keep moving it around and letting it cool. Or just leave it to dry.
Next I created stencils out of paper of the jellyfish image I chose. I first draw it out on paper then cut out my drawing with an exacto knife. Note you could just free hand the jellyfish but this is just the way I decided to do it.
Next I used the stencils I made to get the basic design on the canvas by airbrushing white paint through the stencils. You could use a very lightly loaded paint brush for a similar effect.
Next I airbrush the jellyfish in white and then add blue to create the look I want. This step could be painted by hand as well.
Now it's time to mix up some of the blue glow powder with a clear paint medium.
I use a small spoon to scoop a couple of scoops of the blue glow powder into some transparent base and mix it thoroughly. Then I check it under a black light to see if it needs more powder. In this case I added more and checked it again.
I chose to mix my own paint since I used an airbrush but if you are using traditional brushes you can skip this step by using Art 'N Glow's pre-mixed glow paint.
Now I put some glow paint in an airbrush bottle and add an equal amount of reducer so it will spray through the airbrush.
Now I add the glow paint on top of the painted jellyfish both with the airbrush using the stencils I made earlier and with a paint brush to create really bright glow where it's needed. This will take a while because you'll be adding multiple coats and letting it dry. And also checking it continually under a black light. Be sure to keep mixing up the glow powder/paint because the powder will want to settle when left between coats. Keep doing this until you're satisfied with the look under the black light."
That's it! Have fun creating your own glow in the dark paintings and check out George's Facebook page if you are interested in purchasing some of his original art: facebook.com/georgegeorgeart/
If you have any questions let us know in the comments section below!
Stay tuned for more how-to guides where we'll show you how to paint a dark silhouette in front of a glowing background similar to this amazing piece by George: