Skyace Wasteland: a painting process

Rick and I are cooking up a secret art event in March. It's going to be art riot! So please keep your mid March dates open!
Process Post: Skyace Wasteland
When I was 10 I wrote a short novel about a skyace pilot who stands for the downtrodden. This character keeps haunting me and showing up in my works. She knows the ways of the world, but is not stung by them. She is resourceful, imaginative, intuitive - a survivor. Simultaneously, I am haunted by the images of Chernobyl - the nuclear power plant disaster of 1968 that turned countless cities into metal wastelands. This painting is the fourth illustration of the Tyger Tyger series.

This illustration was painted in acrylics. I had in mind an old rundown power plant wasteland with a wooden railroad going through the mountain passage. I wanted to get the feel of "after a rain" so I painted cool lighting without any direct sun light. Below is the in-progress step-by-step painting process.


The relatively finished piece above. The thumbnail below. In the thumbnail, I mainly wanted to design the shapes and rhythm of the piece before any details. The plane wings point downward, with the vertical power plant columns on the right holding the main mass of the painting, and the railroad points upwards back towards the plane. My line drawings are general very rough and loose so that I have room to build upon it or completely scrap it, if need be. Interesting forms come out from random lines - a reigned chaos.


So below is my initial setup. I have my thumbnail on the corner of my in progress painting. A book of clouds above so I can reference color and shape. Each storm cloud have different shapes. Clouds are fun to paint.
I generally try to paint from background to foreground, meaning sky, ground, then whatever is in front. I do the biggest shapes first, the plane being the smallest is last. Although I broke my own rule by painting the hazmat sign first before the shape on the left. It was just too tempting. I like how old signs have rust color and peeling paint job. I actually lost the original shape of the mountain behind the powerplant.


This is how the piece looks after about 8 hours. From here, I worked the mass on the left and clarified the plane. This piece was fun to paint.

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