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How to paint "Planets of the Solar System" Rocks

Get out of this world with your rock creations, you could add a million stars, comets, a spaceship or even a tiny spaceman to your planets!

Join the Life of Colour art group on Facebook to show us your Space creations, get inspiration and share ideas with others! 


  • One rock per planet, 8 if you're not including the dwarf planets, 5 more if you are
  • Life of Colour paint pens,
    • You'll find 3 beautiful blues, 3 brown-tan colours and 3 orange-reds in the Earth Colours to cover most of the shades needed
    • You can also use the tans and dusky blues from the Special Colours
    • Bright accents from the Classics or Fluros

How to paint an Earth rock

The start of our space journey begins with our mother planet Earth.

Fun fact- You can see Earth’s magnetic field at work during light shows which are commonly known as auroras. Locations with these lights occurring closer to the North Pole are called an aurora borealis or northern lights.

Step one: After pencilling the series of planets circular shapes using a lead pencil and compass paint over the top of the lead lines using the specific base planet colour. In the case of the planet Earth we use a blend of Life of Colour blue and white acrylic paint pens. 

Step two: Crack open your Life of Colour Earth colours to paint the land masses of Earth, don’t worry if you cannot get the shapes accurate as a light cloud cover in the next step will help disguise distinguished features.

Step three: Earth's atmosphere is constantly full of cloud cover and to create the appearance of these clouds is completed by smearing your white paint pen with your finger or using a paint brush.

How to paint a Mercury rock

Mercury has a hot atmosphere and surface but not too hot for ice! It is the closest planet to the sun.

Step one: Draw a circle using your template, then fill it with metallic gold Life of Colour paint pen to make the basic planet shape for Mercury

Step two: whilst the paint is still wet smear a shade of blue over the top, like shown in the above picture.

Step three: Add metallic silver dots and smear some of them to give the surface a sparkling appearance.

Venus rock

Venus is the second planet from the sun, and just like Mercury, it doesn’t have any satellites. Did you know... One day on Venus lasts 243 Earth days? This happens because Venus spins backwards, with the sun setting on the East. 

Step one: Base coat with a tan colour (you have various options in the Earth Colours and the Special Colours)

Step two: Add a smear of blue at the tip of the planet, we used a beautiful blue from the Earth Colours

Step three: Make uneven, organic lines with your white and brown Life of Colour acrylic markers. If you want a more detailed breakdown of this step, keep scrolling and find all the info on Jupiter's tutorial below!

Step by step Mars rock

Mars is the most explored planet, asides from Earth of course. This planet is a dusty, cold, desert world with a very thin atmosphere.

While a day on Mars is roughly longer than a day on Earth... The martian year lasts 687 Earth days!

Step one: Fill in a circle with a blend of red and orange for the base of the planet, you have the perfect dusky reds on the Earth Colours set

Step two: Add a white atmosphere at each end

Step three: Smear spots of black to represent the land masses and crevasses found on Mars.

Step four: Using a vibrant orange (can be the Classics orange or the Fluro orange) create a few highlights on the red surface.


How to paint a Jupiter rock

Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar System, and unlike our home planet, it's a gas giant so it lacks a solid surface. Jupiter has over 75 moons, the first ones being discovered by Galileo in 1610

Step one: Jupiter has a base colour of tan - template a planet shape and fill in with any of your Life of Colour tan pens, you have different options in the Special Colours and Earth Colours

Step two: Add lines in red and white

Step three: While the red and white is wet, using either your finger or paint brush, smear the lines for a faded look

Step four: use red, you can also add in a bit of black or brown, to make the Great Red Spot


Step by step Saturn stone

The sixth planet from the Sun is not the only planet to have rings, but none are as spectacular or as complicated as Saturn's.

Another fun fact is, Saturn's day is very short - not even 12 Earth hours - but it takes the planet 29 years to orbit the Sun!

Step one: A blend of tan, yellow and white creates the base for Saturn.

Step two: Fill in the background with black to help Saturn’s rings stand out. Using the three base colours create bands across the planet in a semi circular pattern

Step three: Add Saturn’s rings using your white, brown and yellow fine tip markers 

Step four: Refine Saturn’s rings - add darker colours closer to the planet to create depth.

How to paint Uranus and Neptune rocks?

Uranus was the first planet found with the aid of a telescope, in 1781. Neptune is a dark and cold planet, whipped by supersonic winds. 

The painting process for both planets is very similar

Step one: you have two powder blue options (in the Special Colours and Earth Colours), any of them is perfect for painting the surface of Uranus. For Neptune, make a base with our Classic blue - if you're feeling fancy, you can add a bit of the FLURO blue to make it pop.

Step two: Add depth by placing tiny dots over the top of your base coat. For Neptune, blend some of these white spots horizontally.

What about Pluto and the rest of the dwarf planets


There are five Dwarf planets that are currently recognised by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) - no matter where your Pluto sympathy lies - and are as follows:

Pluto - pictured as a yellow planet. 

Haumea - pictured as a white football shaped planet.

Ceres - pictured as the smallest white planet.

Eris - pictured as the largest white planet.

Makemake - pictured as a red planet.

You can use the same blending steps you learned for the rest of the planets to make these five dwarf planets!

Want to keep going? Why don't you make a moon phases set... Click on the image below to find the step by step to make a beautiful Moon set to accompany your planets

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