top of page

2019, Aerin, 2020.

36"x24", acrylic on canvas.


Download the image to see it in its highest quality!

This painting is another commute memory inspired one. Generally, when commuting, my partner drives so I have plenty of time to just take in the scenery. I came up with this composition because there was this section of the road on our way home that had no streetlights, but you could see this stripe of orange on the ground from the streetlights far ahead of us. 

It also reminded me of drives when I was a kid. I grew up in rural areas and when we went to the grocery store, that meant a long drive through dark roads lit up by nothing but our headlights. There is such a cozy feeling associated with that, for me. Feeling warm and contained while the snow blows through the night around you.

A photo of a shaded pencil sketch. The sketch depicts a dark sky and dark hills towering over a road lined by trees and snowbanks. In the center of the image there are streetlights.
A photo of a shaded pencil sketch with digital drawing on top of it. The sketch depicts a dark sky and dark hills towering over a road lined by trees and snowbanks. In the center of the image there are streetlights. The digital drawing has blue scribbled into part of the sky, and yellow scribbled in blotches on the bottom half of the drawing.

I intended for this piece to be blue toned, as you can see from this digital study. Honestly, I don't remember why I ended up using purple instead. I think the purple does fit better, though. The blue and yellow have some good complementary chemistry, but it's a little too energetic for the vibe I was going for. Yellow and purple also have some complementary chemistry, but it feels more relaxed and peaceful.

While I changed the colors, the composition stayed pretty much untouched. I removed the slight curve in the road, but that's pretty much it. This is one of those pieces that I had a very clear idea for, and its got pretty easy perspective so I was able to just go with my first sketch. Thumbnails are still useful, even for a simple piece like this, though. Sometimes I feel paralyzed when I look at a blank canvas, there's so much I could put down. A thumbnail is a good, low pressure way to map out my ideas.

Usually I only test colors with a digital sketch, but for this one I used some oil pastels. Mostly, I just wanted to test them out and see how they worked. I wasn't impressed enough to replace my digital studies, but I did go on to use oil pastels for other artwork.

I don't have any in progress pics for this piece because everything went cuckoo while I was working on it. I started this painting just before spring break in early 2020. We didn't come back from spring break until the fall semester. So, I had to bring all my painting supplies home and finish this painting in my kitchen. It turned out fine, but all my routines were interrupted and I forgot to take progress photos. After this painting the series stalled out until fall, both because I couldn't really leave my house to collect inspiration, but also because it was spring/summer time and up here in Alaska we don't have night time in the summer.

An oil pastel study. The study is very fuzzy and abstract looking, but it vaguely depicts a street with streetlights on the end of it. The sky is mixed blue and pink. The street is light blue with a yellow circle near to the viewer. The strrtlights are yellow and orange. Off to either side of the road is a mix of blue and yellow in an abstrac depicition of snowbanks and trees.
bottom of page