Finished Aurora Borealis Painting!

There!  It is finished.  Boy, does this one have a lot of tiny dots!  That is what was needed to make the lights in the sky look soft.  I’ve titled it “Northern Lights,” image size 18″x24″ acrylic on canvas.  You can see the dense layers of dots in the photo detail below. Right now we […]

Phase 12 Aurora Borealis Painting

I’ve reached the point where I’m going to wait a few days and see if I want to make any more changes in this work. It is succeeding on many levels, depth, color, motion, and composition but I’m not totally satisfied.   I think I need to make some of the dark colors in the […]

Pointillism Detail Aurora Borealis Painting

A close-up section of the many layers of dots and colors in the Northern Lights painting. To make the yellow lights look softer and more transparent I’ve started adding another layer of dark dots on top of the light ones.  This procedure softens the edges and gives the illusion of a thin veil, or a […]

Aurora Borealis Painting Phase 11

Now I’m beginning to get some depth in the Northern Lights, the top band is definitely closest and the red glow is in the background.  Darkening the sky behind the trees emphasizes the need to make the trees into silhouette forms, so I will work on the trees next and create some forms in the […]

Aurora Borealis Painting Phase 10

Now we’re cooking!  I’ve curved the top band of lights, broken up the stiff line and brought back some of the vertical lines to the tops.  Adding mixtures of red paint to the background light display I’m going to see what shapes emerge.  Lots and lots of dots on top of dots.  Fun, but very […]

Aurora Borealis Painting Phase 9

I decided to separate the top light display from the lower distant display of Northern Lights and am graying back the color in the distance.  I got rid of the vertical linear look, but a horizontal line is emerging that is stiff and awkward.  I’ll start softening that line after I’ve added more dots of […]

Aurora Borealis Painting Phase 8

Somehow the light show is growing linear, I’m not sure if I like it yet.   I’m going back into the lighter values and applying dots of blues and greens mixed with the powerful Phthalocyanine Blue.   A little bit goes a long way.   Once I begin using this blue, everything it touches is stained. […]

Aurora Borealis Painting Phase 7

Now it is time to create some shapes in the sky. I’m using my lighter values to apply pointillism to the light display in the background.  The shapes are hard edged and not soft or transparent yet, but the color is growing more intense.  My goal at this point is to layer multiple values, hues, […]

Phase 6 Aurora Borealis Painting

This view of the Aurora Borealis painting shows lighter values of dots added to the dark shapes in the sky and a bit of red is showing in the color mix.  The tree shapes are sporting dots as well.  Nothing is happening yet in the light yellow section brushed into the sky. More tomorrow, Gail […]

Aurora Borealis Painting Pointillism Detail

The above photo is a close-up of the layering of dots on a section of the sky in the Aurora Borealis painting.  So far I’ve only used mid and dark values, I’m saving the lightest lights for later.  In this example you can see how the dots overlap each other in a crazy jumble.  I […]

Phase 5 Aurora Borealis Painting

In order to free form paint the auroral light display I need to establish the values and colors of the trees in the foreground.  I’m using a combination of mixtures of Napthol Red, Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, and Cadimum Yellow Medium for the trees, reserving the potent Phthalocyanine Blue for the sky.  The trees are […]

Phase 4 Aurora Borealis Painting

Instead of spending hours placing dots of very light values on a white canvas I decided to brush an under painting of a greyed back yellow on the rest of the background sky.  This gave me a chance to evaluate the composition and make adjustments.  I darkened the sky along the top edge and extended […]

Aurora Borealis Painting Phase 3

Now I begin to add dots of mid values to the shapes in the background.  The trees are still in their original form.  I will tackle them after I’ve established the light and dark values and patterns of the Northern Lights in the sky.  I am using free expression as I paint the background, and […]

Aurora Borealis Painting Stage 2

I’ve started by placing dots, tightly jammed together, using my darkest darks, multiple colors of dark blues, browns, greens and reds to establish a pattern on the canvas.  At this point the white space is leading the eye off the top right of the picture plane, I’m sure that will change as I add other […]

Beginning A New Painting of the Aurora Borealis

I have an idea for a new painting.  I want to show a night sky lit by the colorful Northern Lights with several snow laden spruce trees in the foreground silhouetted against the auroral display.  My recent research yielded many wonderful photos of snow covered trees, so finding suitable subject matter is solved.  I sketched […]

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