Morning friends!  Today I have another GSL DT post and this time, it’s this 12 x 12 inch mixed media canvas painted in metallic watercolour.  Read on to see how it was created and other options for the finished canvas.  There’s a full moon at the moment so it seemed like a good time to create this Moon inspired project.

Getting Started

I had these ATC coin chipboards sitting on my desk and I was wondering what else I could do with them that might be a bit different, and then I was looking at this card that I made recently and that got me thinking about the moon and so, why not a phases of the moon canvas!  There are eight phases of the moon – new Moon, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full Moon, waning gibbous, third quarter and waning crescent – so I needed to prep eight ATC coins.  If you want to know more about the moon and the current phase, here’s a good place to start.

If you want to freehand the moon shapes onto the coins that’s totally fine but if you want a more accurate representation of the moon shapes, then here’s how I did mine.

First all, you need to find the centre of the circle.  There are many ways to do this, but here’s the way I do it when I have to repeat the same steps over and over.  The ATC coins are 2.5 inches in diameter, so firstly draw a square on a piece of paper that is 2.5 x 2.5 square.  Then draw diagonal lines which will give you the exact centre of the square.  Drawing in the halfway point on all four sides can also be useful for lining things up.


Set your ATC coin inside the square and then using a ruler, mark the centre of the circle by drawing the same diagonal lines that are already on the square and there you have your centre point.  For the next step it’s also useful to be able to see the halfway points to line things up, so what I usually do is draw a larger square than I need eg 3 x 3, to give myself extra space.  This is very handy when drawing the waxing and waning phases of the moon.  If you want to try this, then you need to draw one more line on the square.  This line represents the halfway point between the centre and the edge of the coin, which for the 2.5 inch coin is 5/8th inch.  Place one coin in the centre of the square, then take a second coin and place it on top of the first coin, making sure they are lined up along the top and bottom edges of the square, then move the top coin horizontally until the edge of the top coin meets the line you just drew at the 5/8th mark.  Draw around the top coin from the top down past the 5/8th line and round to the bottom.

This will result in a fairly accurate crescent moon shape and you can now repeat the process three more times for the other waxing/waning moons.


Two of the coins are for the first and third quarter moons which require a line drawn down the centre and the remaining two coins will represent the new and the full moon so they don’t need anything marked, one will be black and the other will be gold.

Heat Embossing Moon Phases

I used gold embossing powder to represent the moons so I covered the moon phases with white gesso first.  All the white parts shown above will be the gold moons and all the unpainted parts will be black.

Using an embossing pen, cover the parts that will represent the moon on each ATC, then dust them with gold embossing powder and melt with a heat gun.


After the gold embossing is complete, repeat the process with the black embossing to represent the part of the moon that we can’t see during various phases.

Watercolour canvas

I used a 12 x 12 art canvas for my painting but you could use watercolour paper or some other substrate depending on what you want to do with the finished painting.  Mine is square and so my moons will be displayed in a circle, but the moons could also be laid out linearly using a long rectangular canvas.


My canvas is white and I want it to be black so I first painted it with black gesso.


One coat of black gesso is plenty.  Then I left it to dry.

Once the gesso is dry, start painting the metallic watercolour on top. I wanted a galaxy background for my moons but you can paint it whatever colours you want, here are some ideas for night sky or galaxy.


I wanted to keep mine quite dark so the moons would show up nice and bright.  Set the canvas aside to dry.  Once it is dry you might want to add some spray sealant or fixative or leave it as is, but remember it is watercolour and the colour may shift if it gets wet.

Here’s how it will look once it is dry.

Adding the Moons

Making sure you get your moon phases in the right order, work your way around the canvas from new Moon, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full Moon, waning gibbous, third quarter, and waning crescent.  Use a ruler to make sure they are all lined up evenly and level with each other, then glue them to the canvas using some strong glue.  I used a heavy duty white glue.

Finishing Touches

Once the moons are glued in position, this is a good time to paint around the sides of the canvas if you haven’t already.  I painted around my edges with some shiny black acrylic.


And that’s the finished canvas… or is it?

After looking at it for a while, I decided that I wanted to add something in the middle in that big empty space (no pun intended lol) and decided to handwrite Carpe Noctem which means Seize the Night!  Fun fact, Carpe Noctem is the an episode title from Angel, I think somewhere in season 3.


I used a gold pen and just wrote it on the canvas very quickly, it’s best to try and be as loose and fluid as possible.  If you don’t want to write on the canvas, other ways to get words on there are stamped letters, word stickers, stencils, or you could just type something up and print it out on printer paper or card.

And that’s the finished painting ready to display.  Thanks for making it all the way to the end. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Project Recipe:

ATC Coins D81M
12 x 12 inch canvas, white gesso, black gesso, metallic watercolours, gold pen, gold embossing powder, black embossing powder, embossing ink, black fluid acrylic paint, PVA glue, pencil, ruler, heatgun

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