Cernan, Gnomon, and Crater

color study 3

Painting Completed 1994
22 x 18.25 inches, Acrylic on Masonite

These four paintings, which are the same view of Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan, were done in an attempt to find the limits of colors that could be used to realistically portray the Moon.

A number of these paintings, particularly the greenish-gray one which was the first one (No. 1), have about four or five other paintings under them which I did as I tried to develop the color scheme. I think my role as artist is not to duplicate nature but to interpret it in ways that are beautiful and important to the artist and, hopefully, to other people.

When I first started, any painting that wasn't mostly gray didn't seem right. And I would go back and overpaint it. Then I began to see that these paintings didnąt show the heat of the Moon, the feeling of the Sun, so I painted the one (No. 2) that looks a little more reddish to suggest the heat, and itąs also more beautiful.

I began to use violets in the craters and to make the dirt quite beautiful instead of just gray. The other paintings (No. 3 and No. 4) is a little more advanced and typical of my work today, where I search for any colors that I can use while still making the Moon look like itself.