Wednesday, July 2, 2014

"Night Skies!"

(Almost done, clean up the snow and get rid of bottom branch)

As some of you that follow this blog are aware.....
I have no formal training in art, or  or the use of paint.
I have learned from some very knowing people on line, discussions with other Artists
the wonderful site "Youtube."

I have learned a lot of things by trial and error.
Surprisingly, a lot by error.

When I entertain a new idea, or dredge up an old idea that seemed impossible at one time,
I begin with trying to figure our what I want to achieve, and how to paint it.
I wonder if it is to be "Mixed Media" or just plain old Acrylics on canvas.
I wonder if I can actually achieve the desired effects with my limited knowledge.

 I grew up in Northern Canada.
not way far North, but far enough that
the lake was pristine,
the stars gleamed at night
and the water was pure.

I grew up with fireflys
huge Spruce trees
and on the shores of one of the largest lakes in the world.

But most of all,
I grew up with
"The Northern Lights"
They were magical  as they danced across the night skies.
They were, to me, a  magical world where everything was perfect.
All the while never being aware I was, at the time,
 surrounded by perfection.
But I was young, and dreams are for the young.

Now in my 70th decade, 
I am still as enamored with the Northern Lights as I was as a little girl.
As an artist, I have often wished I could paint them
to show the world their Majesty and Beauty.
How to do it?
What did I have to do to achieve the desired effect?

So, I started at the beginning.
There are Scientific terms and a proper way to do everything.
But I am not a Scientist, and I am not trained in Painting.
I prepped the canvas with Black Gesso
and over that a healthy coat of Anthraquinone Blue.
then with the two colours.
Goldens Fluid Tourquise Pthalo Blue (green shade)  
Goldens Fluid Hansa  yellow (medium)
I began.

I prepared washes of both colours and started quite a few times
 but could not get the "Dance" like movement I was looking for.
until I accidentally knocked a brush out of the pot and onto the canvas.
as the wide (dry) brush fell it swiped across a wet yellow line and feathered it!
My goodness, answers come in the strangest ways.
So from there on in, I stroked/feathered.
I stroked and feathered for almost 20 hours and got it.
Yeppers it looked like the night sky of my youth.
I have included a series of progressive photos below to show how I proceeded.
The snow and tree were the last things to go in, but I knew how to do a tree & snow so they were not a big deal to me LOL.
What is a big deal, is that the Northern Lights still mesmerize me.
They are still Magical
I still glow within when ever I stand outside and watch them.
(For those of you that have never seen them, The Northern Lights can be seen in Both Winter and Summer.)
I just opted to make this a Winter scene.

 The only two colours/brushes I used on this painting
(Excluding the tree/snow)

first attempt (Not good at all)

Kind of what I want, but no movement

And just after the brush fell!

Coming to life
Added the tree line
(Cleaned  up the snow and added the tree just after this was taken.)

The final painting.
The colours in this one are just impossible to capture straight on.
The true depiction of colour is in the  photo above.