andromeda nebula_blog space_print

As a kid, I always had a fascination with outer space. My dad would tell me all about different galaxies and nebulas. We ended up getting a telescope and taking pictures of the moon, the red glow of Mars, Jupiter’s eye, and the faint circle of Saturn’s rings. I remember distinctly a charcoal drawing my dad made while we were doodling of the planets. I was frustrated that my renditions of space were so obscured and childish.

At a certain point, I gave up on trying to portray something infinite. In my later years, I hit a road block when it came to painting night scenes. It wasn’t until my boyfriend mused about painting flowers on galaxy backgrounds that something clicked and I realized that the process is actually quite achievable.
Need less to say, we decided I should paint the galaxy backgrounds. The revised process includes watercolor and black gouache on canvas paper with 50% watered down white acrylic paint sprayed with a tooth brush for the stars. The trick is to start with the darkest areas of the painting first and keep turning the paper as you create the water color wash. Canvas paper doesn’t absorb water the way that watercolor paper does, so it actually is forgiving as far as the time sensitive medium. The paint can literally slide around the paper until it reaches an appealing state. For the stars, the closer you hold the tooth brush, the smaller the stars. Sometimes I tap out the brush and embrace the larger droplets that are created. I have definitely gained a new found respect for artists such as Jackson Pollock after that creative endeavor.
Stay tuned for more galaxies and prints in the near future! Until then!
Dani Beth

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