The shortest night has just passed, but here is the night sky on Midsummer’s Eve, June 21st
First I made two pieces of paper from cotton fibres, then I applied the background colours with lots of washes and, towards the end, some spattering and splashing of colours. I also brushed in blue pigments such as cobalt. Next, the constellations were drawn in ink in a roughly correct position. Quite difficult! I exaggerated their shapes – they have such romantic names. Dragon, Swan, Serpent…. Then I added silver leaf to the planets, the sky’s margins and as tiny speckles of light.
Finally I assembled the whole thing, protected the colours and the silver leaf with fixative spray (so it won’t tarnish) and mounted it. Only a frame needed.
I hope this explains how time-consuming such a piece of work can be to make! There is a lot of making involved as well as painting. I am about to embark on a really large night sky piece: a truly exciting project to mark a special date. More details soon.
And this is my first post on the new-look website – comments and feedback welcomed.
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