Artist Spends 10 Days Recreating the Spectacular Sight of a Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse Painting by Cathrin Machin

Artist and stargazer Cathrin Machin continues to capture the wonders of the night sky in a mix of traditional and digital paintings. One of her latest projects was based on an image of a solar eclipse, taken by astrophotographer Dr. Sebastian Voltmer in 2017. Machin spent about 10 days rendering all of the intricate details on her Wacom tablet.

“We go about our days rarely thinking of the beauty of the sun itself [since] we can't look at it directly,” Machin explains. “When I saw the original photo by Dr. Sebastian Voltmer, I was awestruck by the intensity and the beauty of the corona. Streaming through space, those incredibly beautiful ribbons of energy bloom out from its surface in a display that is equally violent and also oddly serene.” So, she used Votmer's image as a reference in her own digital rendering of the solar eclipse—spending numerous hours drawing the rocky texture of the moon and coloring the golden rays of the sun. As a result, the darkened moon looks as though it is framed by flames.

“The moon is a powerful celestial timepiece,” Machin tells My Modern Met. “I’ve always felt deeply mesmerized by the moon. It's the reason I fell in love with astronomy. I was 7 years old standing in my backyard with my dad's old binocular (unstabilized image) looking up at a shaky moon and all its gorgeous craters. I was hooked.”

Select prints of some of Machin's space paintings will be available to purchase via her website from January 29 to February 8, 2021. You can stay informed by signing up for her mailing list.

Scroll down to see more images of this amazing solar eclipse painting, and follow Machin on Instagram to keep up to date with her latest projects.

Australian artist Cathrin Machin captures a solar eclipse from 2017 in an incredible digital painting.

Solar Eclipse Painting by Cathrin Machin

She spent about 10 days rendering all of the details on her Wacom tablet.

Solar Eclipse Painting by Cathrin Machin

Solar Eclipse Painting by Cathrin Machin

Solar Eclipse Painting by Cathrin Machin

Solar Eclipse Painting by Cathrin Machin

Watch this video for insight into Machin's creative process:

Cathrin Machin: Website | Facebook | Instagram
Dr. Sebastian Votmer: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Cathrin Machin.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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