Moon Phase Watercolor Salt Painting

diy watercolor salt moon phase painting with derwent academy

This post was sponsored by Derwent Academy as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Dreamy, dreamy watercolor! I love the look and texture of watercolor so much. That’s why I had to try these watercolor pencils from Derwent Academy. I’ve heard of this high quality brand, but have never seen them anywhere in Houston! The company dates back to 1832, but the Derwent brand has introduced a new line – Derwent Academy. The new line carries all kinds of goodies for beginners to advanced level artists.


The Watercolour Pencils are perfect for a DIY like this because they are so easy to use and mess free. They are great for traveling or working plein air. I’m pretty much obsessed with these Watercolour Pencils because you can take them anywhere. It’s super inspiring.

As far as creating a Watercolor + Salt painting, I wasn’t sure if the salt would work with these Watercolour Pencils. It was an experiment that worked well! For those of you who haven’t tried it, adding salt to watercolor gives your painting a washed out snowflake look. It could also be compared to crystals. It’s really beautiful and a fun technique.


I already had a moon phase wall hanging which made a great example or template for this project. You can also find a moon phase template here. Download and print this one to have it next to you while you work.


Moon Phase Watercolor + Salt Painting Supplies:

Large Paper
Circle Stencil (I used a cookie cutter)
Derwent Academy Watercolour Pencils
Watercolor Brushes (Number 8 or 10)



First, tape your paper down. Watercolor paper is thick, so you will likely need some help to keep it flat. Plus the tape prevents it from moving. Use your circle cookie cutter and pencil to make light sketches of each moon phase.

To space them correctly, start with the center moon and work your way out from the center in both directions. Be sure that you are evenly spacing as you go and there will be no need to use a ruler. To make the curved crescent shape, layer your circle stencil on top of your circle sketch in a way that cuts the circle into parts. Look at my picture above to see what I mean.


Once you have all your moon phases, or circles drawn, erase the outer edges of the sketches – the parts that are outside of the borders of the final moon phase. Clean up your sketches before you start adding your watercolour pencil.


For this sketch I used Derwent Academy colors black, magenta, purple, and ultramarine. With Watercolour pencils, you can sketch heavy or light. I sketched mine super light so that they would blend together more thoroughly. Make small and uneven sections of each color and be mindful of your borders. Keep those pristine and intact – try to not go outside the lines.


Once you have all your moon phases colored, get your water, paint brush, and salt ready. Dip the brush in water and smooth it across your moon phases. When you activate the pencil with water, you will want to add the salt immediately. You can use thick salt like I did or use regular table salt too.

Add a lot for a washed out, crystalline appearance.


Keep wetting your watercolour pencil with a wet brush and immediately adding salt to each moon. Once all of your moons are wet and salted allow it to dry completely. For me, this took several hours.


Once your drawing is completely dry, use a paper towel to remove the salt. If you use your fingers the oil will blend the watercolor just enough to mute the crystalline shapes. It’s okay to do it, just know what outcome to expect.


Viola! A gorgeous Moon Phase Watercolor Painting! Hang it anywhere you like. These would be perfect for a sweet bedroom and would make a lovely gift too.


So where are you going to hang your Moon Phase Watercolor + Salt Painting? And what Derwent Academy supplies are you most excited to try? Tell us in the comments!


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