Astronomy or Philosophy Picture

Actual Title Because DeviantArt would not allow it:
Astronomía í Filosofía

For this piece I created a flow chart of ideas to help me figure out what to do. I connected ideas to each other, some becoming absolutely ridiculous with some of the connections, due to how far from the original theme they were. I also collected images as inspiration and placed them within a pinterest board to inspire me. Eventually a quote from The Titans Curse inspired me. "'But how does it work?' Nico asked. 'I thought the sun was a big fiery ball of gas.' Apollo chuckled and ruffled Nico's hair. 'That rumor probably got started because Artemis used to call me a fiery ball of gas. Seriously, kid, it depends on whether you're talking astronomy or philosophy. You want to talk astronomy? Bah, what fun is that? You want to talk about what humans think about the sun. Ah, now that's more interesting. They've got a lot riding on the sun...er, so to speak. It keeps them warm, grows their crops, powers engines, makes everything look, well, sunnier. This chariot is built out of human dreams about the sun, kid. It's as old as Western Civilization." This quote discusses the way the world of the story works, and it made me think a lot about the different media of the world and how a lot of them that include things like deities have a revelation like this. The deities would not exist were it not for the people. GunnerKrigg Court is another example of this. This thinking session inspired a doodle for the piece, which eventually became base of the full piece. This picture represents the astronomy of space that I grew up knowing and interested in, as well as the mythology that I grew up interested it. I'm still interested in both, though neither are knowledge I use a lot in my day to day life.


I utilized the elements of color, line, shape, and value. I used the element of color throughout the piece to create representations of many things, such as, people, constellations, stars, a portion of the solar system, and shooting stars. I used like to connect things within the piece, such as the stars in the constellation of Cancer. Shape was used to assist the color in representation of the things. Value was also used in the same way as shape, however it was also used to assist in emphasizing different figures in the piece.

I utilized the principles of emphasis, variety, and unity. I used the principle of emphasis by creating different values of color and making some things brighter than others, contrasting against the black paper. This is especially seen in the hydra, shooting star, and sun. I tried to also create this in the people. I used the principle of unity by using similar, or the same, colors throughout the piece, and by adding stars throughout the background. I used variety by creating very different things throughout the piece and spreading different things around the piece rather than keeping everything separate.

My favorite parts are the people, the sun and planets, and how the three constellations are situated. The people are stargazing at a constellation that does not actually exist, but was created in a book series I enjoy, so I added it in. The planets turned out surprisingly well, and I worked on them a lot, especially mercury, earth, and the sun. For Mercury I combined a lot of colors to give it the effect it has, for earth it took a lot of highlighting and shading to create the effect it has now. The sun initially looked to green on the black paper, so I added in yellow charcoal. The yellow charcoal brightened it, until I had to spray it. Then the yellow became dulled. I added back in yellow colored pencil and it turned out very well. It is not as bright as the shooting star, but that's alright. It's not supposed to be the most emphasized part of the piece. I especially like how the three constellations are situated, because they show the progression of astronomy to philosophy. The astronomy portion is the solar system, and a normal constellation, without any lines connecting the stars, but you can vaguely see the figure it is meant to be. Then it progresses into the philosophy section through the shooting star to Cancer, the crab. The crab is partially the image, but still shows the stars. This is how many artists who paint constellations do their figures. Then, there is the Hydra below the crab. The Hydra is as it would be in a storybook. It looks as you imagine a hydra to be, rather than as a constellation.

My least favorite part is how the shooting star turned out. It turned out to bright and took focus away from other sections of the piece that were supposed to be emphasized.
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