Monday, June 27, 2011

June 30--Paint the Night Sky

Nighttime paintings can be a lot of fun but rather challenging, too. At this class we're going to explore painting the landscape at night, with a closer look at the mystery and beauty of the night sky. 

First of all, I want you to go outside and LOOK at what you can see. Get away from bright lights as much as you can and notice how dark or light the sky is, what value difference there is in the hills or trees or plants around you. Look at your feet, note the shadow of your car or house. Analyze the value structure... Not everything at night is black! Take some photos, if you're able, and just see what you get. Digital cameras are fairly remarkable this way. 

I find it hard to take a good night photo showing everything I want, although I occasionally get the "lucky shot" that works out. It's more satisfying to me to seek out other interesting pictures and combine several different ones to make a more exciting painting. look around and see if you can find photos to use, perhaps as many as three, and think creatively about how you'll put different parts to use. You might grab the hills or city lights from one, the sky from another, and the closer trees or foreground information from a third.

Do you know that there are websites containing photos you can use for paintings? Naturally, if you copy one of these photographs faithfully you won't be able to enter it in the big shows, so be cautious how you use them, but for our purposes it's fun to find some different resources to use, and combine them into one different place altogether. Here are some from Morgue File that I might use this week in my demonstration:

(And remember, you might use some of your new found Photoshop skills to make a combination you like!)

We'll do a quick critique of work in progress, so feel free to bring your painting along for us to view and discuss briefly.

Our class is at the Paradise Methodist Church on the west side of Albuquerque, 11:30-2:30. Come at 11:00 to get set up, and feel free to bring a sack lunch. I'll have iced tea for us. Please RSVP (<--clickable link) if you haven't reserved your space already, but don't hesitate to come on along at the last minute! The charge is only $25 at the door.
Any medium is welcome (as long as there are no strong smelling solvents), but I'll be doing a demo with my PanPastels for the class.
See you on Thursday!