It continues to fascinate me, the things I learn about myself when I paint and create art. Not always deep things but new found preferences or tastes when I'm forced to decide that I like or what I think fits. Painting is a continuos series of decisions. Does this area need to be darker? Will that fit? Should I keep my strokes loose or tight? Is it to blue/green/red? I'm learning to keep pushing past the just OK point in a a painting to something more complete, the hidden finished piece beyond. Some paintings don't have that and I'm learning to let go and just stop working on something that is going nowhere. For this piece I took a different approach. I've found that sometimes my weakness is in the details, in getting too distracted for too long on a particular spot. I zoom in and concentrate on making that one area really refined too quickly and then loose energy to finish the rest.
I created this entire piece with a selection of my rougher brushes and brush strokes. Starting with large brushes and zoomed out I worked almost entirely through at this zoomed out distance. Only for the fire and stars did I need to get a little closer, but not too close, to add detail. Towards the end I really struggled with tweaking the sky and the composition to my liking, not stopping until it was perfect. One of the things that keeps me painting digitally is the freedom to flip a piece or distort and move a portion around until it fits. I would like to cover sometime my techniques for moving and manipulating a painting in one of my tips videos.
The Stages of Painting
Before we go further I wanted to share some of the stages this it went through to get to a finished painting.
The first two I have a temporary stock star photo in the background to start with. Step 1 is only a few minutes in. I started going straight to my usual detailed self with faces so in step 2 I completely threw out the old characters and added these vague figures that leave a bit of mystery.
Again, I love that I can flip my canvas. I often do this temporarily to make sure I still have a good composition. I've also heightened the tree now on the left.
The stars were becoming a bit undefined so in the last stages they were my focus. Many of the stars are clusters of dots I hand painted in and then duplicated and moved to other areas. In the final piece I've added a hint of my signature pink in a few places, it appears as more of a purple color with how I've blended it.
Stars in the Night Sky
There is a 22 x 40 inch print of this piece available! See for yourself!
I hope you enjoyed the journey. What do you think?