Because in the End We’re All Just Dreamers in an Endless Universe
The “Interstellar” collection was inspired by my love of space. More specifically the beautiful and awe inspiring deep space photos of nebulae.
Nebulae are basically vast interstellar clouds of gas. The color of the nebula depends on the elements it is made up of, and whether or not it is a reflection nebula or emission nebula. Reflection nebulae get their color when light from a star gets reflected by tiny dust particles. Emission nebulae are clouds of ionized gas that emit light at different wavelengths. (There’s your mini science lesson of the day).
How I Painted Nebulae with Alcohol Ink
I started my paintings with Nara Black paper as I wanted the background as dark as possible. The trick was getting the colors to show on black paper as translucent alcohol inks don’t show well on dark backgrounds. One way to make the colors visible is to add a white mixative to the colored ink. The challenge with white mixatives is that they don’t flow as freely as the transparent colors. I knew I wanted a cloudy/wispy look and I wasn’t sure that I would be able to achieve it.
First I picked a reference photo to choose my colors and their placement. I decided to try applying the color first and mixing them a bit before adding the white to see how that worked. I dropped the color on the paper where I wanted it to show and then to help it spread and blend I stippled it with a brush dipped in isopropyl.
Once the colors were dry I added the Snowcap in sections. To help the snowcap spread I added a blending solution on top (I used blending solution because Isopropyl would push the ink away and I wanted it to blend rather than separate) and then used air to gently spread the color so it took on a cloud-like appearance. I continued adding ink and blending solution until the nebula was the shape I wanted and then I went back in with extra bending solution to soften any harsh edges.
Once all the ink was dry, I mixed some white acrylic paint with a bit of water to make it more fluid, and then used a brush to splatter the paint to create the stars.
“Never apologize for burning too brightly or collapsing into yourself every night. That is how galaxies are made.” — Tyler Kent White
Own a Piece of the Night Sky
I really enjoyed making these paintings and I’ll likely make more in the future, but for now I have a limited number and will not be selling digital prints. So if you would like to have your own piece of the night sky - get yours now right here!