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Valentine's, Aerin, 2021.

30"x24", acrylic on canvas.


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This painting is based off a photograph I took. It is also the only painting that isn't based off Fairbanks because this photo was actually taken in Anchorage. I really liked the stripe of green light in this photo and I wanted to replicate it. I zoomed in and I changed the traffic light to be orange streetlights. The shape of those streetlights is based off ones I saw in Anchorage, there are a few half-circle curved streetlights in Anchorage but they're all over the place in Anchorage. 

Although the photograph has a black sky I decided to make it blue instead, because I had already done two black skies back to back before this one and I wanted to mix it up. The sky being bluer makes it look more like twilight than late at night, and I think that vibe is a little more chill. 

A pen sketch in a sketchbook. It depicts a road leading up a hill. The crest of the hill has a few streetlights on it.There are trees on either side of the road. Near the center of the image there is another streetlight.
An unfinished painting of a snow covered road leading up a hill. It is only partially shaded.The sky is dark blue and so is the snow on the ground. At the crest of the hill there are three streetlights shining orange. On either side of the road there are silhouettes of trees. On the right hand side there is a streetlight which is lighting up the road and the snow on nearby trees green.
A photograph taken through a car's windshield of a street leading down and then back up hills. The road is lined in snow banks that are illuminated by headlights but everything else is shrouded in blackness. At the bottom of the first hill there is a streetlight casting green light onto the ground. At the top of the second hill there is a traffic light.

This is one of those pieces where I wanted to mimic the composition of a photograph so I didn't have to make many thumbnails. I made one to help map out where in reference to the middle things should go so that it would be easier to transfer onto the canvas.


I usually use charcoal pencils to draw on the canvas. This is because the charcoal is easy to paint over and its easier to remove than pencil. Graphite has to be erased off which is kind of a pain if you need to remove a lot at once. Charcoal will come right off with water. I also have a white pencil that must be chalk that I'll use on top of painted layers that comes off the same way. I know some people just use paint to sketch and then paint on top of it but I like how easy the charcoal is to remove compared to paint that cannot be removed as easily. 

I think the trees in this piece are my favorites. The shapes of the snow are very abstract and weird and a lot more organic than the stripes I sometimes use on other pieces. I also really like the way they relate to the the patterning on the snow banks.

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