Creating 'Land of a Million Stars'
Shown here is one of the northern-themed paintings I created this spring, Land of a Million Stars, varnished watercolour on 16 x 12" panel.
Wild places like this make my spirit soar with a feeling of adventure and wonder. I feel a kinship with unspoiled forests and fresh air.
This sense of connection restores my equilibrium and brings me peace, and it is these feelings that I try to capture in my artwork.
HOW I PAINTED THIS NIGHT SCENE
Let me share with you how I built up thin films of colour and shadow to create a night time painting that looks lifelike.
I lost count of the layers in the sky, but I would estimate there are about ten. The snow required four paint layers to create the shadow areas and the black trees were created with two layers.
SEE THE VIDEO
Here is a 1-minute video clip summarizing the key creation steps in this painting. Click on the image to start the video.
THE SECRET TO CREATING REALISTIC ARTWORK
The slim elegance of these stark trees hides an indomitable strength that allows them to withstand decades or even centuries of frigid northern winters. Their persistence is rewarded on perfectly clear nights by a glimpse of the Milky Way.
In a similar way, it is with patience and perseverance that my watercolour paintings are created. There are no gimmicks or short cuts, just an authentic pursuit of accurate shapes and appropriate light or dark values.
The result is a scene so real, the viewer feels compelled to step into it, absolutely riveted, to drink in this awe-inspiring piece of the world.
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