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The Science of Painting Space

Space – my favourite frontier! One of the challenges I enjoy most is that of capturing the essence of a space-based scene: with such vast distances and sheer majestic spectacle involved, this is nature’s grandest stage. Depicting such scenes is fantastic fun but creating a truly captivating piece can be complicated, as there are so many facets that need to be balanced.

Take for instance the sheer scale of the subjects in a scene such as this. You have planets, which are normally at least the size of the world we all live on. Then there are stars: well, they completely dwarf planets and are pure energy, so they tend to become the focal point of any piece that depicts them. Further out again come galaxies. Maybe 100 billion or so stars make up the average galaxy, never mind the many light-year distance between one star and another.
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