Once again, I’m going to start with the last picture of the prior painting blog. This is where I was at when I started “fixing” the nebula. I almost stopped here, but I felt like the colors were too soft now.
Black needed added in.
I knew I needed to make the color more dramatic. It just felt too soft and everything blended without a draw for the eyes. So I intensified the hues with another layer. If you look carefully at the next picture, you can also see the splattering of stars.
Time for the final stars and highlights on several of them. There are 7 glittering stars in that sky created by the dreams of a tree.
Honestly, I never expected the nebula to give the problems that it did. I thought I had this.
Okay, here is the last picture from the last blog so you can recall what it looked like.
Here I blended the colors together. Oh, and I also added the sparkles to the tree which I wanted.
So I thought it was all well at this point. I just needed to add in some dark spots.
That was when I realized I had a mess. Giving the top a moment to dry, I filled in the ground beneath the tree. I wasn’t certain that I even wanted ground, but after I got it in, I decided that it had been the right thing to do.
I had the thought at this point that I wanted the nebula to reflect the colors of the tree. I went back to some reference pictures of nebulae and tried to decide what I wanted to do. Here’s what came about:
I’m going to leave this blog here for now. I’ll post the final on Saturday. As I will be out at the Jerome Music Booster craft show from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., you can come see the real deal there.
So I thought I was going to have a book cover reveal this week. Yep, that’s not happening, Life has blown this week out of the water. I’m counting myself fortunate enough to be doing this post, thought it’ll probably be short unless I find myself with something suddenly to say or rattling on like this sentence is. Yeah, I go off like that sometimes. *grin*
I thought I’d show you one of the paintings I finished last week. I do wish I had more work in progress pictures of it, but I wasn’t certain about this painting. It probably really hit rock bottom when I had just started it and my youngest son walked by and said, “So, Mom, what’s up with the eclipse and the alligator.”
Eclipse and alligator? Well he wasn’t wrong. Here’s sort of what he was seeing:
You see the “eclipse” at the top of the painting and the alligator at the bottom left. I do believe this is actually after he had made his comment and I had started a second coat, getting rid of the alligator’s open jaws so much. You can still see the two parts sticking out that originally made it’s mouth. Yep, can’t get much worse from there.
I wish I’d remembered to take a picture of the first layer when I started, but I really did feel like I’d messed it up right from the get-go. Then the eclipse and alligator really made me question it. But I had this burr that I really wanted to work with, to try this, to see what would happen. So I continued. That’s when I ended up with the picture above, and then this.
This is after a few more layers and some stars added. I was tempted to go with the angel look here, but I decided to hold to the idea I really wanted.
More layers, added so black back to it, and more stars. This is the finished piece.
I really want to do this, or something like this, on a larger canvas. I am having so much fun with these space nebulae. I’m learning something new with each one. It’s definitely been an interesting journey. I never thought I’d be creating these as beautiful as they are. My first attempts at nebulae were so awful. I’m glad the urge to continue attempting to paint these never abandoned me.
My six-sided painting. I was pretty excited to find this canvas. I knew immediately that I wanted to do a space painting on this. Once I felt ready, I painted the canvas black. The picture above shows it all prepared and ready.
My first layer:
It’s hard not to block a painting in like this and not absolutely hate it and fear that it’s been messed up. But, the painting must continue.
Here’s the next layer:
Now we’re getting some of the misty cloudiness into the piece.
In the next layer, the stars start to shine:
More layers come next, more stars, and adding some of the black of space back in. Finally we end up with this:
There was a point at which I really messed everything up. I didn’t grab my phone to take a picture though; I knew my paint was drying quickly. That probably returned the fun to this painting. I’d started to take it too seriously and quit having fun with it. In causing a catastrophe on the canvas and knowing I had little time to fix it, I had to attack it with courage and release everything. Believe me, at the time I really wasn’t sure I’d be saving it. It was extremely hard to release the fear. Words make it sound so easy, but at the time it was horrible. I instantly projected myself into the future where I had to paint the canvas black once more to restart and regretted the past where I wished I hadn’t touched it so much. I was everywhere but the present.
Grounding yourself with courage puts you firmly in the moment. There’s an obstacle that must be overcome and only by stepping forward can this obstacle be hurdled.
This painting could have easily gone the other way where I did have to go through the future of repainting it that I had imagined. However, I’m glad I kept working it and gave myself the chance.
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.
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.