Northern lights art for kids

Inspired by sightings of the Aurora Borealis in the UK last week, here’s an idea for a technique you can use to make Northern Lights art for kids.

A clever kids art technique to create the Northern Lights aurora borealisNorthern lights art for kids

Wax crayons combined with water colours makes a great art technique to create a stary night picture and it’s what we adapted to create our Aurora Boralis pictures.

northern lights painting

What are the Northern Lights?

Firstly, we did some research to find out what the Northern Lights actually are. The children described them as a party in the sky –  where particles from the sun get the Earth’s gases all giddy and make them start to glow!

For some more scientific details we used this BBC Science explanation of the Northern Lights

The children watched this Northern Lights video on repeat as they drew and it was a great inspiration for their art. They thought the music matched the dancing lights really well – and did some dancing of their own!

kids art wax crayons

We used this Wiki guide to aurora to learn about the different colours of lights in different parts of the sky – and selected our wax crayons to match: red for glowing oxygen high in the sky, green for lower down.

watercolour kids art technique

To create our northern lights art we used watercolour paper. We began by drawing our lights across the page in coloured wax crayons. We used dots of white wax crayon to add in little stars.

northern lights for kids

Then, using a black watercolour paint, we washed right over the page.

aurora borealis art for kidsThe wax crayon markings resist the water colour, giving the effect of the dark night sky with the aurora borealis dancing across it.

northern lights art for kidsTo create a foreground and show the scale of the lights, you can cut out a landscape from black or snowy white card.

art for kids night skyWe kept our design simple, but you might add a forest or houses. You can glue it along the bottom of your watercolour paper to finish your northern lights art.

northern lights for kids paintingMore art for kids techniques

For more ideas for interesting art techniques, try these favourite kids painting ideas.

Complete art lesson plans, exploring great artists


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