The Beginning

My First Painting

Moonrise Orca, 2005
My mother has this painting framed and hanging up in her house in North Texas.  I love that she has it, but I do miss it sometimes.  This is the very first painting I ever attempted.  I didn't have an art class until my senior year of high school, but it was my favorite class.  Mrs. Tyra was a great teacher, she taught me everything I know about creativity, art, drawing, and painting.  
The painting itself is fairly simple.  It was an important assignment in her class, and took me several days to finish.  For inspiration, I used a postcard that my grandmother had sent me from her trip to Alaska.  I've never been there myself, but I'd love to see something like this in person someday.

Here was the method I used for this painting:
  • Acrylic paint, canvas board.
  • I actually sketched the outline of the forest, the moon, and the whale first.
  • I painted the background a deep blue, but added highlights and shading with blended black and white in some areas.
  • Next, I painted the moon using pastel yellows, browns, and whites.
  • The forest line was next in line, using black paint and a smaller brush for the detail.
  • While the trees were still wet, I added the water and used a blend of grey, white, and light blue to create the illusion of fog.
  • Finally, I added the light yellow lines for the moon reflection, and lastly I added the whale, diving into the water.
It's not perfect, but it got me an A and a lifetime of inspiration!  I'm thinking about making a print of this picture so I can have a copy of it.  I'm not sure where I'd put it, but I'd love to be able to see it more often.  Maybe I'll just try to recreate it with oil paint when I get more supplies.  If I do, I'll be sure to post an updated version!  Thanks for reading!


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