Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Ever since I saw Marc Hanson' nocturnes a year ago, I decided I had to try painting night scenes. This is the third of them so far. The sketching and note taking about colors and highlights was done from my porch, the rest was done in the studio. I was so tempted to emphasize the catalpa seed pods on the top right but given the size of this painting I decided against it. I'll leave them to your imagination.
While taking notes I was wondering, why is it that night paintings represent a small percentage of what we see in galleries or online, when this time of day seems, at least to me, so full of magic, romance, and mystery? Is it that artists think there is not much color around at night, or is it a matter of not knowing how to go about it?
Go outside tonight and observe. You'll see colors even if there is no moon. They are there, just different. Look at something that is white in daylight and ask yourself what would you call that color now. Certainly painting becomes a challenge because we see larger masses, and composition might require more careful thought, but leaving this aspect aside, I'm inclined to think it's really a matter of not knowing how to proceed. My suggestion is to sketch and observe! Some artist use head lamps to paint outdoors. I haven't tried that yet, but in the mean time, I'll rely on observation.