Paint Cherry Blossoms In Moonlight… On Black Paper!
When I lived in DC, walking down a street during the cherry blossom season was like floating through pink and white clouds. At night, it’s so enchanting to watch the flowers dancing in the moonlight like little fairies.
You will see how easy it is to capture the magic in today’s tutorial on how to paint cherry blossoms on black paper, and create a night landscape of cherry blossoms shimmering in the moon light.
I used this method to paint these two paintings below as well. Once you get the basics, there are so many beautiful paintings you can make! ( Some of the helpful resources are affiliate links. Full disclosure here. )
Materials and Tools to paint cherry blossoms on black paper:
* Some resources in article are affiliate links. Full disclosure here .
- Black Cardstock like these
- acrylic paints and paint brushes:
- I like using soft watercolor brushes with a nice pointed tip like these
- , they are great for washes, and for finer details
- a dish to hold water for wetting and rinsing brushes
Step 1 : paint moon
Use a little diluted white paint and paint the first coat of the moon. Just mark where the shape is, don’t worry about getting it perfect. The beauty of acrylic paint is that it’s opaque and dries fast, which means wee can refine everything with more coats of paint.
Step 2: paint cherry blossoms on black paper
Now we start to paint cherry blossoms! Use a smaller brush and white paint, and paint each flower with five petals. Easy enough, right?
Since it’s a cherry tree we are painting, pay attention to the bigger shape formed by this group of flowers. I made a wavy form here, but feel free to improvise!
Related article: Paint beautiful watercolor flowers in less than 30 minutes!
Next, we bring in a golden yellow to the painting. It will give a warm glow to the moon, and make the flower centers pop.
Start at the center of the moon and gradually go outward to let the yellow fade into the first coat of white paint (which should be dry by now ). Add more coats of paint if needed.
Dip the tip of a small brush into thick yellow paint, and make a tiny dot in the center of each flower.
Step 4: paint cherry tree shape
Paint the silhouette of the tree trunk and branches by painting the sky around them with a thin coat of blue mixed with a little black and white. This will tone down the blue so it’s less saturated.
If you are nervous about getting the branches right, use a pencil and lightly draw some guidelines which can be erased later, or covered with paint.
Use the same grayish blue paint to paint the lake with horizontal strokes.
Step 5: paint moonlight reflections on lake
Paint the reflections of the moon on the lake with thin horizontal strokes of yellow and white. Now the painting begins to come alive.
Keep layering the paint a couple of times to make the color glow.
Step 6: paint cherry blossoms and petals falling
Part of the magic is the starry night and the flower petals falling.First we create the stars with the same splattering technique used in this easy and fun fall tree painting here .
By tapping a paint brush on a stick (or end of another brush ) we can create beautiful splatters!
Then we will add some falling blossoms in a few random places. This creates a sense of movement, which completes the dreamlike wonderland.
See? Painting isn’t too hard, right? =)
Now a little gift / craft project- make your own sets flower greeting cards with these free printable cards!
Make your own sets flower greeting cards with free printable cards!
If you love to try more easy painting projects, here are a few to choose from:
Make bubble paint Hydrangeas! No need to paint, really!
Ananda – Just came across your blog from your post on wax paper transfer which is a super idea, so many ways to use that technique. Loved that look on your pallet wood crates. Have been reading tons of your posts on using pallets, your Christmas planters, bubble Hydrangas picture and your paintings of Fall and Spring trees in water color and the acrylic pictures on black. Your instructions on the Spring and Fall trees are a very clear and easy way to introduce someone to WC painting (which is a beautiful yet challenging medium). I have done watercolors for years and love it. Also have worked in oil, acrylic and Prismacolor pencil. There are many tricks/techniques used in WC that can be utilized by beginners to get good results as your tree pictures show. Loved your acrylic cherry tree picture on the black cardstock, definitely has a Van Gogh feel to it. It is very striking and graphic yet still serene as is the one of the young girl. Would work well on a black painted gallery canvas with the picture wrapping around the sides, think I may try one of these. Thanks for sharing all your wonderful ideas and photos. Look forward to your future postings.
hi jill, thank you so much for your kind words! so nice we share many similar interests! 🙂 if you are on instagram, please stop by and say hi! 🙂
Hi, I stumbled on your page from Pinterest and I wanted to say that I really love it, I’ve been all over it for the last 45 minutes but I finally couldn’t take it anymore. The way the pictures dull everytime you just touch them is so….distracting. OK by distracting I mean really really annoying. I actually even tried scrolling on the very sides to keep from touching the pictures. I really do love your site and I would have stayed longer but… Is there any way for me to stop this from happening or is this the way you have it set up?
hi maggie, thank you for your feedback! =)
i modified a setting which should take care of it. it is cause by a pinterest plugin. let me know if you still have the same issue! =)
Wow how gorgeous! i must have a go!
These are beautifully done. I have tremors so not sure I can do all, but I think I’ll try some.
This is such a beautifully simple way to paint. It’s took me half an hour to do and it came out so nice. Living in a hot and humid weather, this painting gives my wall a very cooling effect.
Thank you so much.
thank you Nivedita!! =)
I have a question for Ananda.. Is the Cherry Blossoms in Moonlight work an original work of art or is it a reproduction of someone else’s original work? I’m not asking for any particular reason other than pure curiosity.. Just wondering, because either way, at the very least, I can see that the artist was obviously inspired by van Gogh’s style and work..
hi will! i made this tutorial from an original painting of mine done before my blogging days =) the starry night is definitely one of my favorite, and impressionists were among my first inspirations when i was in middle school! during my 6 years of art school, i was influence by many more art forms, such as folk and decorative art, so this painting has a bit of everything! =)
This is awesome! I did this on canvas today and it turned out fantastic! Great tutorial, very easy to follow, and I’ve learned some great techniques from this as well! Thank you so much!
Thank you rachel! so glad you had fun with it!! =)
Did you paint your canvas black?
Oh this is great. Simple technique but it looks so effective 🙂 Book marking this one for later. Thanks for sharing.
Wow! This is just gorgeous! How very clever to use black paper, I would have never thought of using it. Very lovely!
This is so beautiful! Great tutorial!
Stunning as always! 😉 I absolutely adore that you started with black paper instead of white, and created your image around the black instead of painting in the black. Such a great idea!!
thank you dear LZ! black paper made it so easy! =)
All of those paintings are so great! I love them!
I love the spatter technique! I’ve always just sort of flopped my brush around and hope for the best. This is way more controlled. Thanks for the aha moment! 😉
Ananda, love your site and must show my daughter. She is the artist in the family. Such beautiful work. I wish I had talent like this. Here from Grow Your Blog
Hi Ananda. I couldn’t sleep, so decided to visit my favourite blogs- so glad I did:) Your beautiful moonlit flowers have calmed me down after a busy day. I think I’ll be dreaming of them, too. Thank you! hugs. xx
I LOVE Your DIY projects. They are always so simple but unique. Very pretty 🙂
They turned out lovely. And they don’t look too difficult.