Lunar Eclipse

black white and copper art

‘Lunar Eclipse’
is a contemporary black and white art work with metallic copper accents

180cm x 100cm (71″ x 39″)


copper paint on canvas
Lunar Eclipse art by Swarez
enamel paint cells

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The power of three

Lunar Eclipse is a magnificent, abstract expression of just three colours – black, copper and white. This minimal palette has given way to something extraordinarily complex and engaging; something that’s at complete odds with the amount of colours that produced it.

The reason for that is the technique. It’s a refreshingly simple and elegant principle that relies on shifting specific volumes of paint around on the canvas with a flat steel blade (part of a series of tools we made in-house). Starting in one corner I gradually worked my way round the canvas with a sequence of different paint volumes using the blade after each series of pours.

I also gave the canvas a spray of Special Sauce – a combination of four secret chemicals that do some incredible things when it gets introduced to the surface of the paint. The addition of this, along with the steel blade dragging the paint has given way to some truly spectacular results.

How I created the painting

I gradually worked my way around the canvas with a series of different ‘sweeps’ and arcs of the wrist and of course with different volumes of paint. The effect of that spreading and flattening is to drag the Special Sauce around with it which has helped to distribute it into other areas – this is one reason why the painting is so involved in so many parts.

My enamel paints aren’t that easy to coax into cells but Lunar Eclipse is a brilliant example of what happens when you get the material balance just right. The beauty of black and white paints are in the shading and tonal ranges they produce when they are forced together. There are so many variations between the extremes that there was never any need for silver or grey – I have all of that and more just by moving black and white paint around.

abstract painting with black copper and white paints

Oh, that copper!

There are many standout features in this painting but one I must mention is the metallic copper. It has a wonderful ‘treacle’ like consistency to it that holds its shape in a completely different way to the other paints I use. This is a distinct advantage when you need it to keep the forms you create and it also helps regulate how the colours around it form too – so it satisfies a number of important requirements as well as looking awesome!

I’ve threaded it throughout the painting and woven it into both back and foreground layers. There’s just enough to give the painting some much needed warmth yet never too much that it dominants. And it looks absolutely mental when the light hits it! What a painting – you really can stare at this for days on end.

Oh, and if you want to see how I made it then check out the video of how I made this black and white abstract.

details of black and gold paint
black and white paints on canvas