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The Tree of Life

I'm back colouring my Yggdrasil/cosmic tree of life. When I last showed this project I was deliberating over how to best colour the hills behind the tree.

After a bit of deliberating I went with a kinda realistic/kinda stylised approach of green and blue hills. I used the Blue Mountains as my inspiration, as the distant hills can take on a blue tone. And I needed to make a decision and not get too caught up in getting it perfect the first time. Or even the third time.

So I moved on to colour the sun and sky. I did a google search for 'sun setting behind hills' for some colour inspiration and really loved this photo from Malaysia, especially the way the colour changes beteen the rays of light.

I took that image as a guide and started doing half the sun rays in a yellow to red gradient, with a plan to do the ones inbetween in a red to purple gradient.

But I wanted to tie in the space design from the bottom with the rest of the board and came up with the idea of doing that in the sky above. I was thinking a bit about Alex Hyner's art of taking the same sky photos through power lines and then using the lines to delineate the same sky on different days.

So I came up with taking the red to purple gradient into a pink/purple to back gradient and then putting stars and a nebula in the black sky.

And a bit of a jump, but here's the finished board! I actually picked up some more acrylic paint pens from Kmart and getting some new colours really helped.

You might notice that the hills have changed. Again. I was never completely happy with the previous approach, so I tried yet another strategy. Here I've coloured over the hills in a light green paint pen and then used a dark green watercolour paint pen to colour over the top, and then the light green acrylic pen again to blend. I used more of the watercolour pen on the dark hills and less on the lighter hills.

Still not 100% happy with the result, as they're kinda smudgy compared to the rest of the paint on the board. But good enough.

I also used some metallic acrylic paint pens to redo the nebula under the tree and to do the nebula in the sky. These are now a lot brighter and very shiny. I love it.

It was so much fun to colour this board, and I learned a lot. I'm looking forward to doing the other two in the set but now I'm torn between doing my original ideas for them or changing those ideas to incorporate this space theme I've got going on.

I guess I can always start and then decided. Paint pens are delightfully easy to colour over when they're dry so it's pretty easy to change your mind, mix things up and try things out.

I have enjoyed my foray into being an actual artist!

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