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)

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)

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.

Above the Clouds (2019-08-25)

Finished 2019-08-25.

This piece took around 5-6 hours, but I worked on it on-and-off for about two weeks. Unfortunately, I only saved one in-progress image, with is the original sketch with the lineart over it:


I actually added values to the sketch, which is something I basically never do. It was definitely useful when I was deciding what areas to place lighting and shadows. It’s probably something I should do more often, and it’s probably something I’ll forget when I sketch my next piece.

I also colored the lineart in some areas – the lighter ones – which is something I don’t think I’ve done ever since. Then again, I don’t typically have lineart in pieces like this. Perhaps that’s something I should experiment with in the future?

Desert Night


Acrylic on canvas panel; finished 13 May 2021.

This is my first actual acrylic painting of 2021. I don’t know why it took me almost four and a half months to sit down and paint something, but it did.

This painting is inspired by the views you get in dark sky areas in rural Arizona. Everything’s super dark and there are so many visible stars.

Because my scanner is not the best, some colors did not transfer to the digital version:

  • there is a translucent layer of dioxazine purple at the top of the painting. This is barely visible even in person, so it’s not too important that you can’t see it here.
  • The clouds are actually orange-tinted and not gray.

After scanning, I put the standard three coats of varnish onto it. I’ve always heard to take pictures/scan BEFORE you put the varnish on, so I took a picture just to see how bad the glare is:


Yeah, it’s pretty bad. The colors are also not nearly this bold in reality.