Spray Painting the Total Eclipse

eclipse 1

The weather has been so hot and humid that I haven’t spray painted in months. But with all the excitement of today’s Total Eclipse, I thought it’d be a fun subject. The above painting was the first one I did. I wanted to put some silhouetted stuff in the foreground, but I didn’t know what, so I left it blank. Maybe I’ll add some details later. I used a really small bottle cap which made it kinda hard to create the Diamond Ring Effect and the Baily’s Beads.

eclipse from space

This was my second painting which shows the eclipse from space. My proportions are a little off, and my poor finger was getting really tired. I guess I got weak from not spray painting for so long . . . so, I had a little trouble controlling my cans. To create the eclipse I used a larger cap, possibly from a Parmesan Cheese container, but I still struggled to create the effects.

eclipse 2

For my third try, I used a much larger circle which was an old car part that held the headlight, or the tail light. I started to get the Diamond Ring Effect at the top, but I still need to add some details to create the rays. I also managed to create the beginning of the Bailey’s Beads, but I was impatient and didn’t let the paint dry, so it got all gloopy. I might go in later and re-add those beads.

total eclipse pyramids

My fourth attempt was on a larger piece of paper and it’s my favorite one. It reminds me of the Nile.

spray painting supplies

In the picture above you can see all the supplies I used for these paintings. I used a circle cut-out for Earth in my second painting, and the caps and car part to create the eclipses. I used Rust-oleum White for my stars. I also used a Seaside Blue Rust-oleum for the sky and water.  I used Black and Clear Rust-oleum to create the palm trees and rocks. The rest were the cheap-o cans from Wal-Mart, which were Blue, Black, White, and some Green. These brands work really well together.

Remember when you’re working with spray paint to protect your health and wear a mask and some eye protection.

I remember viewing the total eclipse in California when I was a kid. We had a perfect view of it, and my dad was in the Air Force and brought home some special viewing glasses. I also made a pinhole shoebox thing at school. I don’t think I’ll have a good view of it today though.

I actually read that Native Americans believe you should stay indoors during a total eclipse. I’m pretty sure I wont be able to resist trying to get some kind of view of it. You can even use the shadows created by the trees to look at it. (Which reminds me a lot of basic photography.)

Anyway . . . Will you be viewing the eclipse? Everyone have fun and be careful as you enjoy today’s total eclipse. The next one wont be for another 7 years . . . which will be going directly over my area.

Mystic Midnight Painting

Scanned Image 3

Mystic Midnight

I’m pretty happy with how this spray painting turned out. Notice that there isn’t any sign of life . . . no boat, no bird, no dragon, no human. Usually it’s a good idea to add some kind of life to a painting, but I think the quiet solitude works for this one.

I also cut off the bottom part of the image. Sometimes you can still use a painting even if you’re not happy with a small part of it. Just cut it off.

If you like this painting it’s available to purchase on many products at Redbubble.com. My 2 favorites are the spiral notebook and the tote bag.




Should Graffiti be Legal?


Elaine Vilela Gomez, Morro da Providência favela, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2008 by JR Pasted Photos

Spray paint art doesn’t just grab my attention on artwork that can be held in your hands. Walls make great canvasses too. Street art and murals have been gaining a lot of ground lately.

Some aren’t even done with spray paint . . . some are done by pasting photos like in the above street art from the series, Women Are Heroes by JR.

Recently on the summer olympics in Brazil, we got to see a little bit of Rio de Janeiro’s street art . . . where graffiti is legal.



Philadelphia is another town known for their street art. When we give artists an opportunity to express their creativity, we see that they make towns come to life with colorful and free and educational art for everyone. Instead of creating an opportunity for punishment. 




Don’t forget about the controversial British artist Banksy on the streets of England. If graffiti was legal, would Banksy’s artwork make the same impact?

Well, I could go on and on forever about graffiti, murals, and street art . . . But for now, I want to share a little guy I found in my town.

For many years, I’ve noticed this smoking bomb hanging out on an old gas station on Hwy 259. It looks like it was painted using Banksy’s preferred technique of stenciling.  



Smoking Bomb on Hwy 259


Recently, I was exploring my town with some friends when I found another smoking bomb.


Smoking Bomb Tower

He was hiding inside this tall brick tower at the edge of a sports field that I drive by almost everyday. Talk about hidden in plain view.

I’ve found 2 of these little smoking bombs so far. I wonder how many more are out there. And who is the artist?


Smoking Bomb inside Tower

I guess the smoking bomb is considered illegal graffiti and most people probably think it looks ugly. But, I think it adds character to my town. Some of these paintings have been up for years. And some are temporary. Some I’ve grown so used to seeing that I don’t see them anymore. 

Do you have any eye grabbing artwork on the walls of your town? Has your town legalized graffiti and street art? Get out there and capture some great art before it’s gone forever. And if YOU’RE a street artist, I’d love to see your stuff. 

Shark Conspiracy


One of my favorite spray paintings. Gets the imagination going.

I really like making abstract paintings with spray paint techniques. I like being heavy handed with my paint and taking basically trash, and randomly moving it around on the paint to get interesting and unexpected shapes. Works great for complex galaxies.

Scanned Image 4.jpg

Shark Conspiracy

When I use this technique I always think of Europe after the Rain, by Max Ernst. He used a technique called Decalcomania. The process is not exactly the same but it’s similar.

For Shark Conspiracy, I used an old painting that I didn’t like, and put it on top of the wet paint and moved it around then pulled it off.  I added some planets, stars, light effects, and finished the black space on the edges.

Kid’s like glopping on lots of paint and moving it around, so this is a fun and easy one to do with them. And they can just be free to squeeze that trigger.

  • Of course, remember to always use spray paint in a well ventilated area and wear a mask.

Aahhhh . . . It’s Friday . . . and I’m ready to start the weekend. Next week I’ll share another type of spray paint art.



My First Spray Painted Jellyfish

My spray paint art teacher says that jellyfish are a really cool and easy subject for spray painting. This is my first jellyfish. I made a lot of mistakes but it was a lot of fun to paint. I love the textures that my materials make. Lot’s of bumps and cracks are perfect for nature and animals.



A good thing to remember is to always keep your palette knife clean! Otherwise old paint will dry and cake up your smooth edge which results in un-wanted textures. That’s why the jellyfish’s tentacles aren’t smooth and believable looking.

Maybe I’ll paint another jellyfish soon, or some other underwater scenes. We’ll see what inspiration brings.

Making Spray Paint Trees

I have a couple of boxes filled with almost empty cans of spray paint and I’d like to re-stock, so I’m doing some paintings that don’t require perfect caps or large amounts of paint.

Below is a magical tree where some fairies or some other illuminated creatures might live. I had Picasso’s Blue Period on the mind hoping that would provide a little inspiration. I wanted to achieve a sense of movement in the background so that the scene felt busy and active.

magic tree.jpg

Magical Tree

I wasn’t sure what effect the blue would give . . . would it be sad? Or would it be calm? I guess maybe it gives off a cold effect. I decided the next tree should have a little green added to create a more eerie feeling.

The tree below was inspired by one of the trees in my yard that was right in front of my face while I was painting. It’s just an old tree with big roots.


Blue Tree

It turned out ok. The background could have a more interesting texture. I think I’m getting more comfortable making trees. I still have lots of cans to use up before I let myself buy new cans . . . so, back to the drawing board.