Harvest Moons

A classic symbol of autumn is the infamous harvest moon. The harvest moon has been named for the season it appears in because it allows extra harvesting time for farmers working into the night. Sometimes the harvest moon will just be its regular colour, while other times, it will glow brighter red or orange (like a blood moon) because the atmosphere’s particles block the blue light of the moon, so we can only witness its red light. What a breathtaking sight when the autumnal moon appears behind the trees on a cool fall night. 

Watercolour Harvest Moons

You’ll need:  

• Watercolour paints (or washable paints watered down)

• Coffee filters • Black paper

  Scissors • Paint brushes

• Water • A damp rag

In our home, everyone enjoys watercolour paints because they are so forgiving, especially when it comes to painting skies or other simple combinations of swirling colours. When we sit to paint together, we like to play music, and everyone works their own, unique magic. We encourage you to do the same!

This watercolour painting technique is called wet on wet. It allows for an easier blending of the tones. You’ll begin by laying your coffee filter on a hard non-porous surface; brush it with water until it’s flat and wet. Then you’ll add watery colour to the coffee filter, letting the colours bleed together. Try different techniques like dotting your brush or swiping it to get different effects. 

We used cool colours to create a darker, moodier moon, and then we used warm colours to give the impression of a true harvest moon. Try different pairings of colour to make any kind of moon you like.

Once your moon is saturated with colour, gently peel it up off your surface and lay it in the sun to dry. They dry quite quickly! Wipe your table with the rag before the paint dries, but typically, watercolour paint washes off easily. 

Next, you’ll draw the shape of a leaf-less tree on your black paper. Cut out your tree, and when your moon is dry, glue your tree right onto the moon. You can make just a single moon and tree as a masterpiece, or consider making many different ones to hang on a string with clothespins for seasonal decor. 

Jacquelyn Toupin lives with her family in a heritage farmhouse that has been in her family for several generations. You can follow them on Instagram @raisinghay