Step by Step Acrylic Painting Demo – “Crab Nebula”

About Alizey Khan


My name is Alizey Khan; I am a professional astronomical and abstract painter and printmaker. I was born and raised in the United Kingdom, moved to Pakistan for a few years in middle school, and have lived in America since 2005. I am now based out of Charleston, South Carolina, where I received a degree in Studio Art from the College of Charleston.

The properties of light and spatial depth are the focus of my work, using thinly layered colours to convey a sense of spatial vastness. To this end, I paint astronomical phenomena, which allow for the greatest exploration of light in an incomprehensibly immense space. I strive to visually depict natural processes beyond ordinary human experience to instil in the viewer a sense of curiosity and wonder regarding the universe around us.

I have been interested in astronomy and the wonders of the universe since I was a child. The mysteries of outer space inspire me as an artist because I feel that we as humans get so stupidly caught up in what goes on in our little societies that we forget that we’re just anthills in the scope of the universe. I paint my little galaxies and nebulae and stars to remind myself that there is so much out there we don’t know and haven’t experienced, and we never will unless we collectively start prioritizing the pursuit of knowledge over fighting for resources.

I am a member of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA).

Alizey Elsewhere on the Web:

Alizey’s Website

Alizey’s Etsy Store

Alizey’s DeviantART Print Store

Her FaceBook Page

Her Twitter Page

Crab Nebula Acrylic Painting Demo

(Click images below for larger views)

I recently painted the Crab Nebula using acrylics on canvas! The painting is 12″x12″. I took WIP photographs along the way to make a tutorial on how to paint nebulae for you guys.




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