Monday, October 11, 2010

Class 3— October 14— Night

Night Street, pastel, 12" x 9"

Find a nighttime photo with an interesting pattern of colorful lights to paint. We’ll analyze what makes the nighttime painting successful, painting on dark paper. We’ll discuss how you can make your own dark colored surface for this painting.

We'll start our class with a review of the work done last week, so bring along your contrast paintings
Then I'll do a lecture/demonstration on painting the night, and after that concludes I've asked Barb Clark to show us how she makes her toothy, black Masonite boards. 

Painting the glow of lights at night can be fascinating. I find it's best to work on a dark colored surface, making the addition of light streamlined. Black or very dark paper is sometimes hard to come by, so in the past we've "blackened" Wallis paper by adding a thick layer of very dark pastel and spraying it with water. It takes time to stretch it flat and, once done, it fills a bit of the tooth. 

Since most of you work in pastel, I'll demonstrate a night painting on one of Barb's hand-made boards using pastel, but I'm also anxious to give gouache a try on it. If you're working in another medium I hope you enjoy the idea of using a black or very dark ground. You might want to prime your surface with black gesso.

Find a good night photograph (not a sunset, as that's a different issue.) I have some photographs I'll bring, but take a look around and see what you can find or shoot this week. It really doesn't matter what the subject is, as long as it has an interesting pattern of lights against the dark. You can paint the big vista with city lights spread out, or the closer city scene, or anything else you find. Something like this:

Albuquerque panorama

Nighttime at El Pinto

If you would also like to make your own board you need to give Barb $3 in cash, please. The ones she provides are 8"x10", unless you want to bring a larger Masonite panel, or another surface such as rag mat or heavyweight watercolor paper. In choosing a photograph, you need to consider the scale of the board. It's very challenging to paint a vast panorama on small surface, not to mention detailing tiny spots of light on a toothy surface, so choose wisely, grasshopper. 

I'll be wearing my messy clothes so I can make my own board. See you on Thursday!