Inspired by Wyoming: Grand Prismatic Spring Art

One of my goals for the year is to design more state-inspired crafts. I'm still missing a few states, including Wyoming. When I think of Wyoming, the first thing that comes to mind is Yellowstone. I've never been to Yellowstone, but will make it there someday. And when I do, the Grand Prismatic Spring is at the top of my must-see list, along with Old Faithful, of course.

I'm fascinated by the science behind the colors of Grand Prismatic Spring, as explained in this article. It's so beautiful in photos, and I can only imagine how much more spectacular it would be in person. It is perfect for my first Wyoming-inspired project. Affiliate links below. 


Grand Prismatic Spring Art



I cut my watercolor paper to the size of a postcard, but you can make your artwork whatever size you'd like. 

With a wet brush, paint a bullseye (of sorts) starting with blue in the center, then yellow, then orange, then red, pulling the paint outward from the center. Don't clean the brush between colors. You want them to blend.

Fill in the outside area with browns and grays. Clean the brush and let the paint dry. 

Use the reference photo to adjust the size and shape of your color bands, starting with the blue and working out. When you get to the oranges and reds, pull them out over the browns and grays. Let the paint dry. 

Add the observation path along the left of the painting. 

Now it's time for the colored pencils. Lightly color light blue highlights around the edges of the blue, then add light green. Highlight the yellow. Use the reference photo to mimic the colors of the orange, red, and brown organisms. Outline the observation path. 

Finally, use the white colored pencil to swirl color gently over most of the painting, leaving only the center uncolored. This will help blend the colors and mimic the steam. 

Here's my finished artwork.

When I do eventually make it to Yellowstone, I think I'll bring my postcard-sized art along, add a stamp, and mail it to myself from the park. That would make a neat souvenir.


  1. That would be awesome if you mailed it to yourself from there!! I loveeeeeeeee this!!! Adam has been there with his Dad, but I haven't made it yet either :(

  2. I LOVE this work of art! We went to Yellowstone a few years ago and had the most wonderful time. And you are so clever - to mail this to yourself from inside the park will make the most AWESOME souvenir!!!! (Wish I had thought of that! LOL!!!)


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