Northern Lights Landscape Art Project

We have been having the strangest winter season! One day it’s freezing, the next it’s 60 degrees. So even though we have about another month until the spring solstice, I figured it was high time we tackle one of the winter art projects my kids and I have been wanting to do. In fact, this Northern Lights art project knocks two items off of our Winter Bucket List. Well, sort of. Kane has been really wanting to visit Iceland. It was the first item he put on our list, actually. He typically likes to come up with wacky things to add, but he truly wanted to go to see the Northern Lights. I’d love to go, but it’s not in the cards this year.

So instead I decided to incorporate it into a new paper craft (also on the list) and make our own Northern Lights landscapes. I’ve seen this project done in a variety of ways, but I wanted to try to use OOLY’s Rainy Dayz Gel Crayons. The colors are just so vibrant and I love combining them with a brush and water. It’s the perfect way to make a hazy scene but keep the colors bright–just like the Northern Lights!

To make your own Northern Lights Landscape, you’ll need:

Kane and Cam starting to draw their interpretation of the Northern Lights in Iceland with Rainy Dayz crayons.Cam scribbling colors across her "sky" and blending them with water and a brush for a hazy watercolor effect.
Kane focusing on a single shape of bright colors for his version of the Northern Lights on the black paper in The Paper Works Sketchbook.

After a quick lesson on the science behind the phenomenon and plenty of Google image searches, the kids each had their own plan to create their perfect craft project. Kane focused a lot on making one very specific shape out of several colors and then blended them with the brush and water. Cam scribbled all across her “sky,” blending each color as she went. You can try to keep close to what the lights actually look like or let the kiddos do their own thing (obviously, ours did their own thing).

Once you finish the sky, cut a piece of black paper in half lengthwise. Then use your scissors to cut along the top of the paper, creating mountains, trees, or whatever you’d like to be in your landscape. Our kids stuck with mountains and then both used the white gel crayon to make them snow capped. Then glue the landscape along the bottom of your sky to combine the two.

Almost just like visiting Iceland!

Cutting out an outline of mountains from a separate sheet of black paper.Cam pasting down the mountain outline she cut out and added snowy details.