It was a date, remember?

So on yesterday’s blog, I showed some pictures of a space painting I’d been working on in 2018 and thought I had done.

But then, as any good tale would have, conflict struck.

I painted another picture that made it look like garbage. Well, what’s an artist supposed to do?

I’d say that the correct answer is not to pull is back up on the easel and keep working on it, but I know that’s exactly what a lot of painters do. But I do understand the need to let something hang for a bit so you can look at it just to let your mind mull it over.

So let’s talk about this painting.

I started this painting the same night that I started the other two paintings, but I was way too embarrassed to show it. I honestly thought I’d be painting over it. I mean, what do you do when you have a mess like this to start off with? So I let it sit with some creative procrastination for a while. I figured if I didn’t look at it, I wouldn’t think about how badly I would feel at having to paint it over because it was a horrible start. However, I had some ideas I wanted to experiment with, so I decided I’d play and see what happened. I figured it was only a 8″x10″ flat panel canvas, so who cared if I messed it up so badly that I ended up breaking it in half over my knee like a ninja master? If nothing else, I would learn something.

But I sure as heck wouldn’t advertise my intent to fail.

Nope.

I took a picture for me to document my learning process and didn’t show it to anyone.

Then, on January 1st, I decided it was time to pull out the painting and play with it. How better to get a start at painting for the new year than to learn if I could or couldn’t pull this painting out of the fire.

This was the next layer. Honestly, by now I was a little wowed by the hole thing. It was so simple, and yet so pretty. Just brushstrokes.

Look at the depth now starting to come into this piece. There was a part of me that wanted to stop right here.

But, I’m a fool and I pressed on.

Here it is finished:

Yes, there are parts of this I wish I’d been able to express some self-control on, but I do wish the picture did it justice too. I’m happy with the lessons it taught me and and that I managed to save a painting I wasn’t sure would work out.

So, for hoots and giggles, let’s look at the “finished” painting from yesterday compared to this on:

I hope you see what I mean when I said it nearly made me want to cry. The “finished” painting seemed so clumsy and blockish compared to the smooth grace of the new one.

Now let’s see them both together after that 1st one had the reworking:

What a dramatic improvement, don’t you think?

I wonder what will get cooked up this weekend on my easel. Just after I continue working on my edits for Tangled Magic.

Finishing a space painting

Last week I wrote about three space paintings I was currently working on. I’ve still been whittling away at them, but I think I finally finished one of them. Maybe. At the moment of this writing, I’m waiting to see how dark the acrylics get after it dries and cures completely.

Let’s have a quick look back at the painting from last week:

Every time the starburst in the center dried, it got darker and darker. I kept having to paint it over and over to brighten the colors. Here’s the next layer:

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At this point in the painting, I was really thinking about painting this over and starting anew. I liked some of it, but it was no where near what I had in my mind. Yet, I likes the gaseous clouds, so I thought I’d keep working. What could it hurt, right?

Note how much the centered darkened after drying here on this next picture compared to the last. It might not seem like a lot, but it was. In fact, this might actually have had another yellow layer put over it before I took the picture. Anyway, this was the first star layer.

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Space painting – WIP

I mentioned in a couple of my progress blogs that I’d been painting. I have been experimenting recently with space nebulae.

Had to teach myself the valuable lesson of having fun once again a couple nights ago during my painting session. I was trying so hard not to mess up a painting I was working on, even though it was study painting and I should have been exploring concepts rather than trying to do a “masterpiece.” So guess what happened?

Yep, I messed it up. I was so not happy with it. I decided to play around with the mess I had on my canvas.

Wow! Rather than pulling my paint with the brush over the canvas, I started to push it. Because I had such a mess, I was getting incredible results. Well, I thought they were. Here’s what resulted:

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While waiting for this one to dry, I started a new canvas and I just let this playful state I’d reached have at it. Here’s it’s result:

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Painting progress – January 20, 2018

A couple ACEO’s that I finished.

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Landscape
3.5″ x 2.5″
acrylic on canvas
©2018 Dawn Blair

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Landscape
3.5″ x 2.5″
acrylic on canvas
©2018 Dawn Blair

I can’t say that I like working on this canvas material. I have a whole bunch of it from when I first started painting. I figured I’d try to use it up. I just can’t say that I’m a fan. I much prefer Bristol Board to paint the ACEO’s on. Lesson learned I guess.

Or maybe it just means that I need to get better.

Could be both.