Friday, April 17, 2009

night painting


  • When painting at night values are very close together, so simplify your palette if possible.
  • Choose subject matter that has the greatest degree of value contrast with the simplest compositional elements.
  • Try to use as few artificial light sources as possible so as not to interfere with what you’re naturally observing.
  • Make sure you angle your headlamp down at 45 degrees to avoid light bouncing back into your eyes.
  • Position your easel and palette so that they have consistent lighting: if your canvas is in light make sure your palette is in light. If your canvas is in shadow, make sure your palette is in shadow.
  • When mixing your palette at night, remember to make the colors slightly lighter than what you’re actually seeing because they will appear much duller and darker when viewed in daylight.
  • Use very little white.
  • Because most of the colors you will be painting with at night will be cool, use a warm underpainting to provide greater contrast and luminosity.
  • Use big brushes for better blending and to achieve the soft edges inherent in night scenes.
  • The moon is cooler on top and warmer on the bottom because, as it’s rising, there is more atmosphere below it than there is above it.
  • There is a warm halo of ambient light around the moon. By exaggerating the dark values surrounding that with a chiaroscuro effect, you will create the illusion that the moon is glowing.
  • The farther away from the moon, the darker the sky’s value.
  • As the moon rises, its reflection will spread out wider over the surface beneath it.

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