Reflection & how can you help the environment?

I truly hoped you enjoyed this blog and my painting that depicted a part of my life. I put a lot of effort into the painting and I believe the issues I brought up are very important. This painting took me overall a span of 3 weeks to complete it; it would’ve taken me much less time except I wasn’t continuously working on the painting. Overall, it was fun to work on the painting in my extra time, to do something creative after my busy classes.

The painting overall focused on wildfires in the small scale. Wildfires that actually happen are a big problem. They burn a lot of land and trees that help the environment, which can then cause families to relocate or evacuate. Wildfires spread dangerously fast, so they are hard to put out and leave the aftermath of what was represented in my painting: smoky air and burnt patches of dead grass.

I explained in my earlier post titled “Concepts behind the field/painting” the reason behind how droughts can contribute to wildfires.

As a refresh: Climate change is basically the earth’s temperature rising due to human’s use of fossil fuels. Higher temperatures mean water evaporates, which eventually leads to a drought. Also of course, humans may be consuming water more then we actually need. Areas that are really dry with no moisture, for example a forest during summer, can easily start a fire. Just from a spark can cause a flame. Human error is another common way wildfires can start.

To prevent this, be considerate of how much water you use; a small change to your daily life really helps. Here are some ways you can save water

  • take efficient shorter showers
  • turn off the faucet while brushing teeth
  • report leaks

At my college, there are signs everywhere aimed at being mindful when you’re using water because California is in a drought. I didn’t realize this until I started paying attention and thinking about water conservation.



Finished Product

Next I added cars and painted the streets…



Here is the finished painting!

There are two photos, the first one I cropped out the edges showing the background where I painted.

I outlined the Tops Yogurt sign and building, plus I added touch ups to everything. This defined features of the painting  which made a huge difference.


Smoky Air

Here is more progress of my painting. It took me almost 2 hours to paint the Tops Yogurt building, simply from constantly trying to find the right colors to mix. This is so the shadows look like the right shade= 3 dimensional look

I added the smoky air and burnt patches in the field. I planned on adding more details to the asphalt (parking lot area outside Tops Yogurt), but I wanted the field in the back to be the main focus of the painting.


Street View

I forgot to include earlier an actual street view of the intersection of Big Horn Blvd and Bruceville Road in Elk Grove.

This image I found on Google includes Tops Yogurt along with the field of dead grass on the other side of the street. The image was a reference for what I depicted in my painting.


These photos below are taken directly from Google Earth…

As you can see, there is the intersection and focused views of the field. The bottom right photo is the opposite side of the intersection that I left out of my painting. The Wackford Community Center is on the left side of the picture and the other empty field is to the right. (From my experience, I haven’t seen this field catch on fire)

Painting Process

Continued after the first sketch/outline

I tackled the background first by painting the sky. I mixed acrylic white and blue together, and drained the color in water…



Next, I focused on painting Tops Yogurt. This part made the painting very personal to me, it really hits home because I grew up hanging out around this area.



Beginning the Painting

I used an 18×24 size canvas

Plan: Full color painting including nearby stores to make it personal. Add details- show burnt patches, dead grass, smoky air, dried wood, and weeds. (Try to incorporate traffic and firefighters?)

Materials I used…

  • Acrylic paint- white, bright yellow, bright red, black, leaf green, true blue, almond, and brown sugar.
  • Artists paint palette (to mix colors)
  • Flat, fan, and detail brushes

Here is a super light pencil sketch when I first started



Concept behind the Field/Painting

How did the field suddenly catch on fire?

  1. The field is prone to catching on fire because California is in a drought. Higher temperatures due to climate change contributed to the drought, by increasing the amount of moisture that evaporates from water
  2. The area would be extremely dry, especially during blazing hot temperatures in the summer
  3. Dry wood burned from the sun provides the materials to start fires. Anything that can create a spark can cause a flame. Ex. Glass on cars thats pass by can start a flame when the sun hits it from a specific angle
  4. Fires can quickly spread because there is no moisture in the air (Just like having no water to put out a fire)

The same concept applies the same to how all wildfires naturally start. This is a big issue that needs to be dealt with pictures illustrate exactly what I explained