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2020, Aerin, 2021.

24"x36", acrylic on canvas.


I didn't even really make a thumbnail for this piece since I had such a clear image in my mind of what I wanted. I did make a few sketches of a bus hut, though. The picture I took isn't super clear so I wasn't certain of the "anatomy" of a bus hut. Luckily it turned out to be fairly simple. The most complicated part was the transparent glass walls. Since I'm used to working with transparent paint, I just used my usual technique of water and matte medium to make a mixture of transparent white. I doubled the coats on the places where two walls overlap. I also made sure to let the light in through the glass onto the floor of the hut. Let me tell you one last secret about the bus hut....I completely forgot to put snow on the roof! I didn't even notice until I was totally done. In my mind, there must be someone who comes and brushes the snow off the roof so it won't make icicles that could fall on someone. 

A photo of an unfinished painting. The top half is entirely black with white lines sketching out a streetlight and a bus stop with a small hut. The bottom half of the painting is blue, with darker blue shadows indicating snow banks.

In this painting I decided to see how much detail I could create just with light. The roof of the bus hut and the snow banks are differentiated entirely through the use of light and shadow. I also started putting in shadows sooner than I generally do so that I could actually see where everything needed to go. I think the gentle build up worked perfectly. I think it spread my progress up too, because I was able to work on painting in the bus hut while the shadows dried. 

I think the details came out great too. They're look thoughtfully placed and well developed. I don't try to perfectly replicate how snow looks, but the abstract texture I use to depict it gets the idea across. I like to use a cut up foam brush to dab on big droplets of my wash because it dries in a very crunchy looking way. Then I'll go in with the opposite color wash and do the same thing but offset a little. I use that mix of textures as a base which I'll emphasize and develop into defined shapes. 

A photograph of an unfinished painting. The painting is only partially shaded. It depicts a road with a bus stop. The sky is black and there is a line of very faint trees in the background. The bus stop hut has glass walls and a blue roof. There is a streetlight next to it with an orange bulb, but it is not shining any light. The ground is covered in blue snow. Close to the viewer there is a road leading to the bus stop. It is flanked by snow banks and there is a faint green light coming from somewhere off screen.

Download the image to see it in its highest quality!

This painting is based off a photo that I took, although I had to buy a specific canvas to match the aspect ratio I wanted. I had seen this scene a couple times and I really loved the way that the trees were lit up. I had also painted almost exclusively pine trees and I wanted to try and do some deciduous trees. When I first tried to start this painting, I realized the canvas I had was severely warped. Now, unless I want to build a canvas myself, I have to buy them from Michael's and unfortunately, Michael's canvases tend to have warping problems. So, I have several slightly warped canvases but this one was not salvageable. I had to shelf this composition until I had another long and tall canvas, and in the meantime I made 8PM, which is why they look so similar. It's kind of a sibling to this piece.

A pen sketch of a bus stop hut with a bench inside.
A photograph of a bus stop with a small hut on the side of a road with a streetlight next to it. The sky is black and there are trees emerging from the blackness, lit up orange by the streetlight. The bus hut has glass walls and a bench inside. Closer to the viewer there is a road with snow banks on either side leading to the bus stop. The road and snowbanks are lit up green from a light source off screen.
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