This is my most recent painting, another in my night sky series. I just got a new video camera for my time-lapse paintings, and I’ll be posting the full video from this one soon. Here’s the finished painting:
Passage, 24″x 30″, acrylic on canvas, copyright © 2014 Kathryn Beals
This is a memory of camping in northern Alberta, Canada, one of the most beautiful places I have ever lived. Here’s my step-by-step process below in video stills:
I started with my large filbert brush and quickly painted on layers of blue and white in a circular pattern. This is a mix of Ultramarine Blue, Phthalo blue and Anthraquinone blue, mixed with Titanium white and Carbon black. I didn’t worry too much about the shape and blending at this point, I just worked to quickly get the canvas covered in color.
When I had the overall shape and color I wanted, I let it dry for a few minutes and then started to add the stars. To make the sky look deeper, I used a mix of pale blues and whites for the stars, and varied the sizes of the dots. To make rounder dots, I dipped the handle of my brush in the paint instead of the bristles. For some of the brighter stars, I first made a pale blue dot, and put a white dot in the middle. Here are some closeups so you can see what I mean:
Once I had the stars in there, I let it dry for a few minutes and then added the hill in the foreground.
I put in some trees on the edges and added a tent on the hill. To give the tent a glow, I first painted it in white and then added transparent oranges over top, leaving the middle white.
Once the tent was in, I experimented with the coloring of the sky immediately around it, to add focus and balance. I also added some more stars and more contrast to the sky with layers of Dioxazine purple, Quinacridone magenta and Zinc white. These colors are very transparent but have high pigment strength, so I used them sparingly in thin layers.