Saturday, April 20, 2013

Painters of the Night

Ok, ok, so maybe "painters of the night" gives the wrong impression here but a friend and I went out and painted a nocturne plein air.  We drove to our "old town" area at dusk, donned our backpacks and set out to find something we had a shot of painting in the dark.  It was chilly out so we had our heavy, paint-smeared coats on, grungy pants, etc...honestly, we looked like a couple of homeless guys.

Photo courtesy of Will Spear
We found a nice window display at the florist and set up to paint.  My friend, Will, has painted a few nocturnes before so I followed his lead.  I wasn't really sure where to start but turns out it's like any other painting; you start putting down shapes of the right value and color.  The hardest part was discerning the color/temp of dark mixtures on my palette when my main light source was an LED head lamp.

Paul Wood Florist
6"x6" Oil on linen - Not for sale
 This painting took me twice as long as it should have but once I got in the groove there was no way I was leaving until it was done.  I had a blast and now I'm hooked.

Got any tips for painting nocturnes?  Leave a comment!


  1. I don't have any tips for painting nocturnes, but this sure looks like fun, Scott! Well done!

  2. Scott, nice first plein air painting. My tip is to keep going, and then you certainly will be hooked. All the best.

  3. A fine painting but your fingers must have gotten very cold. Live the pic of you out in the night. Like how the store has that night light glow

  4. Now here's a challenge!! Your painting came out well. How difficult is it to figure out values and color in the dark?

  5. I have yet to paint a nocturne, definitely looks like a challenge. Especially painting in the cold! I don't even want to go outside to check the mail when it's cold, let alone paint. More power to you! :)


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