2022-01-08: Arizona Sunrise

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Here is my first acrylic painting of 2022! It’s based on a doodle I did back in June 2019. It took about 70 minutes over the course of several days.

I think I may have actually found a painting process that works well: work for about half an hour on a section, do tiny touch-ups over the next few hours/days, then move on to the next section. I’ve always had trouble finishing art in one sitting, and breaking it up like this seems to have produced pretty good results.

Purple Nebula (2020-10-17)

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Acrylic on canvas panel. Finished 2020-10-17.

This is technically a speedpainting – it only took twenty minutes! I’d just bought a new paint color (dioxazine purple) and wanted to test it out.

And what I came up with was this pretty nebula-ish thing. Of all the acrylic paintings I’ve done, this is one of my favorites…a twenty minute doodle, basically.

Night (2019-11-29)

an acrylic painting of a green nebula with a mountain and trees in black in the foreground.
Finished 2019-11-29. Acrylic on acrylic paper.

Eighth acrylic painting! This originally started out as a yellow & green nebula/galaxy. I ended up not liking the yellow at all, so after I was done painting all the clouds, dust, & stars, I painted the painted the mountain over the yellow part. Then I painted some trees on the mountain to make it look less boring.

This is something I really like about acrylics. They paints are, for the most part, very opaque, and they dry quickly, so I don’t have to worry about smudging if I want to paint over an area.

According to my notes, this took about forty minutes in total. I haven’t done anything like it since, but I’d definitely like to revisit this concept at some point to see how much I’ve improved.

Moon Reflection (2019-11-24)

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Finished 2019-11-24.

This actually started out as a painting of a tree on a hill. When I was done painting it, I wasn’t very happy with it, so I left the tape border on for about a week while I thought about what I actually wanted to paint. You can see a little bit of the original painting where the paint bled under the tape.

I only used black & white here because I wanted to focus exclusively on values (light & shadow) instead of colors. The paint is actually slightly bluer than what you see here, even though I didn’t mix in any blue to the black & gray tones. It’s such a subtle shade that I think it might be part of the black pigmentation, and not the colors of the previous painting showing through.

Sunset Clouds (2019-11-12)

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Finished 2019-11-12.

This is the sixth acrylic painting I did, and the first that I actually liked. I didn’t actually set out to paint a sunset or clouds – I originally intended to paint a galaxy using yellow/orange/red/black. I didn’t work, and I started painting clouds instead.

I made a ton of mistakes with this painting – not using enough water, not blending the colors well enough, and not having a plan on what I was going to paint. Unlike the previous paintings I did, I wasn’t frustrated with this one when I finished it. I liked it – and still do like it – because I this was when I first started to get the hang of acrylics. All of my later paintings are much improved compared to the first five.