“Purple Sunflower Burst” – How I made it!
Today I will show you how I painted this sunflower inspired piece titled "Purple Sunflower Burst".
The beginning - first let me tell you about the surface this painting was done on. This was my first time working with claybord (that's how it's spelled). It's a surface meant for many mediums, and I chose it because it was extremely smooth - it's not easy to do fine details on a rough surface.
The first step: I used a pencil to draw straight lines from corner to corner of my square. This gave me diagonals and a center. I then used a compass to bisect each 90 degree angle into a 45 to create the verticals and horizontals that pass through the center. After that I needed to divide my pie into 90 equal divisions! This is what you see below. By dividing it into 45 parts first and then dividing each of those by two I made it simpler to cut this pie into 90 pieces. With trigonometry you can find the length from one division to the next on the circumference. Look at it as 45 triangles, each with an end near the center measuring 8 degrees. Cut one of these triangles in half and we have two right triangles - each with an angle of 4 degrees, and an angle of 90 degrees. Measure your radius and we now have two angles and a side! This means the sine of 4 degrees times the radius equals 1/2 of the distance we are looking for! (sine is a trigonometry function of right triangles)
I walked this distance around the circle starting at the top going both ways all the way around. If you are off slightly in setting your compass you will find the correct locations will be directly in the middle of the two marks you made from going around both ways. Conveniently these circles intersect each others centers providing the middle points to add the other 45 divisions to make the full 90 .
Why 90 divisions? Because I am making spirals based off of the fibonacci sequence. It is 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21... I am using 3:5 as my basic ratio to approximate phi. Multiplying 3 and 5 by 6 gives me 18 and 30, so I will have 18 spirals one way, and 30 the other. 90 happens to be the lowest common multiple of 18 and 30 (18 goes into 90 five times, and 30 goes into 90 three times.
The next step: creating concentric circles to make a quasi square grid. These are the lighter concentric circles you see. To make these I make the width of each square equivalent to the width, each set of quasi squares getting smaller towards the center. This is my grid to place points. On the outer rim I started at the very top with a singular point. I went every three around the circumference to get 30 dots, and every 5 around to get 18 dots. Then for the 30 dots I counted towards the center 5 squares and over 3 squares. I did this over and over again until all the points were plotted for all 30 spirals. Then I plotted the points for the other 18 spirals - only inverting the slope this time - 3 squares toward the center and five squares over. Less spirals means shallower angle. Again with 3:5! Finally I was able to connect all the dots and place each circle in its appropriate place.
Here is another picture:
Next I used ink to darken all of the circles. After that I used brushes and sponges to create an abstract background layer with acrylic paint. Then I started work on coloring the spheres. I used many translucent layers of paint called glazes to get them just right. It takes a while, but I really love the depth it gave to the spheres. It allows the background to show through at points making the spheres look translucent.
Some of the spheres up close: Have a wonderful day and thank you for taking the time to view my artwork. - Ansel Bickerton
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