|'Nightfall' 11x14 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
I started this beach sunset painting a few weeks ago but didn't quite finish. It needed a few stars and brighter light at the horizon. This was a sunset I shared with good friends several years ago in South Carolina. The sky was amazing!
I enjoy painting the night sky. The challenge is to give the sky a sense of air and depth even though it might be very dark. I have a few tips for painting successful night skies.
- Observe the sky in the evening. Spend time just watching from twilight until total darkness. Make notes about the colors and values you see. How do they change? Soak it all in. These observations will help you when having to work from photos.
- Take night photos at twilight. When the sun has set there is still some light in the sky. These deep dark and rich blues of early evening make for the most interesting night scenes. Even better is when the lights begin to come on. These little lights add even more interest to the night sky.
- Avoid using BLACK pastel. We tend to think that at night the sky is black. Even when the sky appears very dark painting it with black will make it look flat and heavy and dull. Choose dark value blues for a more believable night sky.
- There is often a gradation of color seen in the night sky. I like to use my darkest cool blues for the zenith (top) of the sky and gradually transition to rich warmer turquoisey blues closer to the horizon. Scroll down to see samples.
|Black vs. Deep Blue. Which do you prefer for a night sky?|
|Starry Sky a sliver of the night 11x4|
|A selection of beautiful deep blue pastels perfect for the night sky|