|Starry Night in the Adirondacks by, Adriana Meiss|
This recently finished painting was done on an impulse from a photo reference taken during daytime.
I have never painted outdoors at night, but I do go out then very often just to see the colors and to take mental notes. It only takes a few minutes for the eye to get used to the darkness. Then I ask myself how many colors can be easily identified. It always helps me to imagine myself painting and looking for a particular color in my pastel box. The house that was red during daylight, is it now blue or purple? What color does white take in darkness? Whatever the answer is, in my experience some of the colors need to be exaggerated just a little bit, and you do not necessarily have to rely on black. The darkest areas in the painting above were done with dark blues and dark olive greens.
The trick about night scenes is to make them believable enough. Just look at Rene Magritte's painting The Empire of Lights: cover the bottom part and you have a daytime sky, cover the area of the sky and you see a night scene, yet the whole scene seems to be so real...