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Midnights, Aerin, 2020.

24"x24", acrylic on canvas.

midnights.png
A pencil sketch in a sketchbook. The sketch is partially obscured by dark blue paint. The sketch depicts a large industrial building in front of trees, with a shack to its left. The building is covered with scaffolding, tanks, and machinery.

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This painting is sort of based of a photo, in the sense that I took a photograph of this building, but it was so low quality that I couldn't actually use it as reference. I didn't put the picture here because it was genuinely so blurry that you can hardly even tell that it is of this building. I referenced Google Maps instead. This building, from what I can tell, is a concrete plant or something. I was fascinated by all the scaffolding and how industrial it looks. 

It was interesting working on this painting because I have no clue what any of the machinery does or why it is the way it is. Not to mention that I was working off of a Google Maps image so I had to guess at some of the finer details. I had a lot of fun adding all the details and making things up to make it all fit together. Luckily none of those details got covered up in the end and it wasn't wasted time.

A photograph of an unfinished painting. The top third of the background is dark blue with white spots. The middle third is black and the bottom third is dark grey. There is a small building on the left, and two cylinders on the right side. In the center there is a large building shape made of grey. There are some light grey shapes in the center of it, and a large dark grey tank rising above it. The tank has the letters "U R M" on it in red.
A photograph of an unfinished painting of an industrial building at night. It has no shading on it. The sky is dark blue and covered with white stars. There are silhouettes of trees in the background. To the left, there is a small shack. In the center there is a tall building with machinery and scaffolding on the front. There is a large tank rising above the building's roof with the letters "U R M" on it in red paint. To the right side of the image there are two tanks, one grey and one red.

I definitely had some fights with this painting, though. One of the most infuriating parts was that I was using pretty much just grey, but I still wanted things to be clear and stick out. I had a light grey, a middle grey, and a dark grey. However, when I started trying to add more middle-ish grey on top of the building's grey, I could not get it to work. Every time I mixed a new grey, it managed to perfectly blend in with one of the three I already had. It took me, no joke, probably an hour of mixing and testing to finally get the grey I used on the scaffolding. And even then, that grey was so similar to the color of the ground that I nearly gave up. In the end I just used the lighting to differentiate the ground from the scaffolding.

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