For this project I used:
- Arches 7×10 cold pressed watercolour paper block.
- Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolour Paints in Indigo, Winsor Violet, Winsor Blue, Winsor Red, Aureolin and Permanent Rose.
- Pro Arte Prolene One Stroke Brush, 3/4 inch or 19mm.
- Molotow Masking Fluid Marker Pen, 2mm.
- Pencil and Eraser.
These are affiliate links and if you use them you’ll get 10% off your first order and I’ll receive a small commission too.
Download the Outline
Download The Line Art For This Project
Click the button below to download the outline for this project for free. All you need to do is print it out, transfer the outline to your watercolour paper using carbon paper, pencil transfer or by using a light source like a light box. See my video on how to do this if you’re stuck!
Downloads are for personal use only. Please do not sell any work based on this artwork and please credit me if you post work online that you’ve made from following this tutorial or using this line work.
Video Tutorial on Youtube!
Step - By - Step Instructions
Wet your paper and add the first layer of colour
Use clean water to put down a wet area to cover where you want the sky to be.
Add bright colours in patches where the fireworks will be. Don’t worry about getting these exactly right.
If your colours mix in any places to create dark muddy areas, lift with a paper towel.
Draw or Trace your Pencil Outline
Sketch large overlapping circles in the sky where you want your fireworks to be, and add some stepped sketch lines for the castle, suggesting the tops of different walls and buildings, using the linework reference downloadable from above if you would like some guidance.
Sketch direction lines for the fireworks
For each circle, add a few pencil lines to give you guidance for the direction of your firework light trails.
Add masking fluid fireworks
Use traditional masking fluid on a brush, or this masking fluid marker pen to paints dots that will be the points of light in your fireworks. Start with larger dots in a ring, fewer in the centre of the firework, then add smaller trails of dots from each point towards the centre, following your direction lines.
Add masking fluid fireworks
Create lines of fireworks upwards from the castle in slightly curving lines, and add some small windows in the castle buildings too.
Paint your second night sky layer
Once your masking fluid is completely dry, use a mix of different blue paints to cover over everything you’ve painted so far.
Paint your Castle
Use a slightly darker mix of blue over the castle, you can leave some highlights at the tops of walls, but don’t worry if your castle and night sky bleed into one another.
Bring the foreground down as low as you’d like it to go. You can add in some of the firework colours to give a sense of reflections here too.
Paint your Castle second layer
Use your darkest blue, or black if you’d prefer, to add details to the tops of the castle walls, add little marks for chimneys and turrets.
Remove the Masking Fluid
Use a clean hand, or a hard eraser to remove the masking fluid from your completely dry painting.
Enjoy your painting!
If you want to add highlights and contrast to your painting, you could use some light coloured gouache or acrylic marker pens over your watercolour to add in more windows or extra firework details! You could also use this method to create the fireworks if you don’t have any masking fluid.