Saturday, December 26, 2015

Painting the Moonlight Sky

A full moon on Boxing Day gave me an opportunity to create another night picture. Deborah took these shots of a painting in progress. The clouds move so fast that all you can do is be inspired by what's in front of you and invent your own picture based on those inspirations - the colours and shapes of the night.

I tried something different this time. I painted the full moon in a cloudless sky first, let it dry, then waited about a month for the next full moon, then added the clouds. The difference is between painting a small picture in one go, wet in wet, or paint it in stages, wet paint over dry. With wet in wet you can blend the colours into each other easily whereas a wet layer over a dried surface can't be blended the same way. Sometimes I soften the edges with my finger but I rarely do this because it isn't good to use your skin as a blending tool.

This panel is larger than other panels I've used for skies, and it introduces a problem related to scale. The bigger the dimensions of a work, the more clouds need to be added to the sky so overcrowding the picture becomes an issue.

One of the difficult things about painting in the dark is that it's often impossible to find a light to illuminate the painting you're working on. Fortunately I'm able to view the moon from my balcony so all I have to do is switch on the light.