Planets Project Update – First Color

The scale model of the solar is coming together and here’s the first color on each of the planets. I’ve also test-painted the rings for Saturn, which is fun to see in 3D. More below, and please pardon the dust – these shots were taken in my art studio and there’s a lot going on.

Planet Hemispheres, all with base colors

Each of the planets has their base color tones as of this writing. Some of the planets are painted inside the clear acrylic hemisphere, which will give them a bit more depth. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Venus will make use of this effect. Except for Uranus, clouds will be painted on the outside, but some light will scatter through the acrylic and bounce off of the inside layer.

Process for painting the inside of the planets

After the base color is applied, I went over them with white primer. This provides enough light blockage to prevent them from glowing too much. There was still too much of a glow, so I covered the white layer with a deep black. I don’t have a photo showing the effect, but it’s very similar to Uranus above (which is pretty much ready to be sealed as-is.


Jupiter North Pole

The cloud bands were mapped out using an airbrush and several colors. Additional cloud details are needed, some to cover up that unfortunate splatter from my airbrush. Or, I just call that part a storm.

Jupiter – South Pole

The recent images from the NASA/JPL Juno mission have provided high resolution detail of Jupiter’s south polar region. I’ve started here by getting the colors more into a gray-purple realm. A good base for many whirling clouds.


And finally my favorite of the bunch, Saturn. I’m thrilled with how the rings turned out, courtesy of my friend and colleague Joe “Faust” Graziano. Shown here are one of the prototype rings we cut to my original design.

Base Color for Saturn and Rings

While there’s still a lot to finish on each of these, it’s fun to see them come alive.

Let me know what you think! And if you like this, please share at your leisure. Thank you!

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