The Artist's Road  World Map

The Colors of the Night - Perspectives No. 346

The Colors of the Night

Perspectives No. 346

The Colors of the Night Palette


   The clouds have broken and the nights are tolerable at last—just in time for our first nocturne oil painting tutorial of the season this evening. We firmly believe that more painters should try night painting because there are many learning benefits in the practice for an artist. For instance, darkness forces us to focus on the large masses first. That discipline helps us to see the daytime world with greater clarity. At night we learn to create simplified compositions which are strong in design instead of superfluous details, and that skill improves all of our paintings. We learn how to use and exploit a limited color and value palette to suggest spatial depth and form. All of the truly accomplished painters whose work we admire have these skills well in hand but it may have taken them years to master them. What an opportunity, then, is the nocturne! Like anything, it takes some trial and error to figure out the palette colors and the technical approach to night painting, so we decided to give you a head start by introducing our palette colors. We are illustrating here a larger set of palette colors than one would normally need, to try and cover a variety of different  lighting situations —especially city street lighting which can vary these days from yellow to bluish in cast, depending on the type of lamp. Transparent Yellow Green, Cadmium Yellow Medium and Ultramarine Blue are optional colors.

Colors of the Night Color Chart 2   Colors of the Night Color Chart

   These two color strings illustrate some of the deep nocturnal colors we need to be familiar with. On the left are our three darkest cool colors, Thalo (or Pthalo) Green, Prussian Blue and Ultramarine as they appear very gradually mixed with touches of Titanium White. Depending on your location and the amount of light pollution from town, one of these will probably match your overall sky tone.On the right are some common mixes of dull, cool green, using Thalo Green and Prussian Blue mixed gradually with Yellow Ochre. Try these yourself before you head out into the night. They are easy to mix and will serve you well out there. Above all, have fun!

   Read more about painting at night in our downloadable or softcover book, Nocturnes - A Primer on Night Painting.




Copyright Hulsey Trusty Designs, L.L.C. (except where noted). All rights reserved.
Become an Artist's Road Member Today!
The Artist's Road LogoClick here to become a Member and enjoy access to all the in-depth painting and travel articles, videos and tutorials. Guaranteed!
Search the Site
Pay-Per-View Articles

New! If you're not a Member of The Artist's Road, some of our articles are available as Pay-Per-View.

Click here to find out more!

Perspectives

Not ready to become a Member yet? Subscribe to our free email postcards, "Perspectives". Enter your email address here.

The Artist's Road Store
A Primer on Night Painting - Nocturnes

Nocturnes - A Primer on Night Painting

Filled with inspirational examples by the masters of nightime painting, this little book is sure to fire up your creative energies. Never tried painting at night? We show you how it's done with a step-by-step-oil demo and a tale of night painting in the wilds of Rocky Mountain National Park. The Primer on Night Painting - Nocturnes is a 7 x 7" PDF download with 40 pages of text and images. It includes a gallery of paintings by masters of the nocturne, information to inspire and encourage you in your plein air nocturne painting, an illustrated step-by-step demo and tips for working in pastel and oil. Also available in a softcover edition. Check out the tools and other products that we use in our own art and travels in The Artist's Road Store. We only offer things for sale that we enthusiastically believe in.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

New Member Content

Winter Light -  Moscow, 18 x 24", WC, © Thomas SchallerVoices of
Experience:Thomas
Schaller


Palimpsest, 36 x 48", Oil, © Thomas PaquetteThomas Paquette's Mississippi River Odyssey

Sunset Filigree, 14x18", Pastel, © Lana BallotVoices of Experience:Lana Ballot

 photo of Mastrojanni Agricola, Tuscany, Italy, © John HulseyPainting Holiday in Tuscany

 

WhMother, 1895, Joaquin Sorollaite-"the representative of light"

 
BeRoses in the Garden at Petit Gennevilliers, 1856, Gustave Caillebotteyond Giverny-The Gardens of Caillebotte, Bonnard & Renoir

 Morning in Gloucester, Emile GruppeMotif No. 1 - The Painters of Cape Ann

Photograph of John Hulsey Painting with Long Oil Brush
Oil Painting Brushes

 MorniMorning on the Pond I, 36 x 36", Oil, © John Hulseyng on the Pond I
A Pai
nting Knife Oil Demonstration

  How EJohn Singer Sargent, A Dinner Table at Night, 1884dges Make a Painting Sing


Eph
Troubadours, 30 x 40", oil, © Ann Trustyemeral Beauty:Painting the Floral Still Life

 
The Adirondack Guide, Winslow Homer, Watercolor, 1894
Watercolor Brushes - The Real 411

 

Landscape with Sunrise by Claude MonetThe Perspectives Archive

and MUCH MORE!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

About Us

Photograph of John Hulsey and Ann Trusty in Glacier National Park
We are artists, authors and teachers with over 40 years of experience in painting the world's beautiful places. We created The Artist's Road in order to share our knowledge and experiences with you, and create a community of like-minded individuals.  You can learn more about us and see our original paintings by clicking on the links below.
About Ann
     About John
 Hulsey Trusty Studios

We are also regular contributors to the Plein Air blog at Artist Daily.

TAR logo