Arlene paints representational works of many subjects in many media, including watercolors, oils, and acrylics. Today she painted a landscape with a few extra challenges — in addition to being a night scene and a snow scene, her piece also depicted the northern lights in the sky. This was a subject Arlene had been wanting to paint for a while. Working with acrylics made it possible for Arlene to finish in one afternoon, since acrylics dry quickly enough to continue adding new details over what has already been painted.
Arlene had created a sketch to work from to guide her composition. The sketch was from her memory of landscapes she’d seen and pictures of the northern lights, rather than from a specific photo or reference. Since she’s painted many landscapes she can rely on the techniques and discoveries she has from years of practice.
Arlene had already gotten a start by establishing the light and dark areas of the ground and the sky. She started today by painting the lights in the sky with some light green, then blending out the colors into the sky to make the lights seem to shimmer and glow. She then painted more details into the mountains and trees in the distance. Painting right over her distant background, Arlene added trees in the foreground. She then painted snow covering each branch of every tree. With each step, Arlene gave her landscape not only more realistic detail, but more mood and personality. Viewers who see this piece in person can see the additional creative touch of the trees and sky wrapping around the edge of the canvas!