charcoal planets 1 v2

Pastel Planets 1
Buy it as a print or card.

We mentioned our little problems with spray varnish before. Above, you see the post-varnish version, with some pastel touchups. For comparison, below is the original before varnish. Notice the more subtle whites, the more detailed highlights, and the slightly different hues of color in the original. While it was still damp, we hit it with some pastel to brighten up the highlights and add the atmosphere around the moon in the foreground.

charcoal planets 1

Either way, we learned to scan – carefully – before varnish to get the “true” image. We just did this charcoal/pastel thing to relax, anyways. The paint takes a while to dry on the acrylic version in the kitchen.

planets in progress

We’ve painted this canvas, layer upon layer, at least four or five times. Why? Because we have no clue! It just sounded like it would be fun to paint planets. The first version really sucked. The second version, in primary colors below, also sucked, but the composition was better. It provides the basic layout for the current version.


From there, we just kept trying different things. Is a fan brush useful for a cloudy atmosphere? Do these colors merging in a wash look like anything? Can you do stars point by point or just flick some white paint? What abstract techniques suggest the textures of rings? Earth tones or comic book colors? … and so on. It’s just one big experiment, after all.

About Mars Will Send No More

2 responses to “planets

  • iain carstairs

    Top one – favourite. Lets the imagination get to work.. not too crisp or fixed. I want to know how you did it..


    • Mars Will Send No More

      How? Iain, you almost had me convinced it was more important to ask why than how. Now I’m not so sure :) But honestly it’s not very technical. Blocking in shapes with basic colors, and then adding light (white) and shadow (black). Along the way, we play with different ways to use the points, flats, and edges to apply color, layer it, smear or blend it. It’s strange how relaxing it is. Like someone took all the stress out of drawing and put fun in its place.


Share Your Wisdom with Us:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,712 other followers

%d bloggers like this: