View Full Version : C&C Moonrise

10-01-2013, 06:21 PM
Hello old friends and new, I've been working hard and though I adore the feedback from WC, I'm finding I like working on my own too.

But... here I am requesting an opinion.

I must have painted 4-5 moonrises this summer plein aire. None of them are worth sharing at this point but this is one that I "created" from an existing photo and thought I'd add a moon with what I learned.

Can you please tell me... does it work?
How have you resolved these issues of dark... but enough light to glow?
Are there any painters you recommend I study?

Thanks.... off to prepare this for Art Walk on Thursday....

10" x 10" wallis paper. Barb

hmm... Gremlins? unable to use the old uploader... hope this works

10-01-2013, 06:50 PM
Study Stan Sperlak, his motto is "don't be afraid of the darks", and he means it. I even have a sticker from a workshop I took with him last year, it really says "Don't be afraid of the darks"...:lol:

Honestly, he really is good with this type of thing, he really knows how to make it work, his paintings sing with color, even nocturnes.

Does this work? To me it does, you've got the dark sky, and the moon glows along with the water. I like it. You've even got a glow on the land masses, subtle but there. Nice work!

10-01-2013, 08:52 PM
Thanks for the vote of encouragement. I painted two more - oh well I'm correcting two more... may post them later. I have really darkened the darks a whole bunch more. I know that the lights and darks have to be relative to each other in order to be "believable"... but it's challenging.

I look like a human bruise .... imagine dark dust just about everywhere.



10-01-2013, 09:23 PM
Two more attempts. These were done plein aire and then I went ... dark....

C&C appreciated here too. I'd love any and all input. Can't learn without it.

Thanks. Actually I think these may look better than real life... hmm...:lol:


water girl
10-01-2013, 10:09 PM
The one on the left speaks to me louder than the first or the one on the right. Don't ask me why, because I've never painted a moonrise. :angel: It may be that the city lights add to the feeling of night time without going too dark.

10-01-2013, 11:23 PM
I agree with Karen, the one on the left wins my vote right now. Those distant lights work really well, they add interest and color. I am assuming you won't crop the moon so close to the edge of the paper? Just wonderin'.....

Donna T
10-02-2013, 08:42 AM
Hi Barb, I get the same impression as Karen and Chris. I know that the moon can rise while it still looks like daylight but maybe we think "moon" more when it's darker? Your colors are great in all of these - you must have observing and painting at record speed!

10-02-2013, 10:39 AM
Morning, Thanks very much.
Karen, I thought I'd create a "city" or at least make some marks that read like a town... and it worked. There needed to be something.

Chris, cropping will be important... if it doesn't end up in the bin before hand.... LOL

The one on the right started very very very light. It was painted at the initial moonrise when the sun was still setting but lit the opposite sky. but of course... I had to darken it. If I have time I'll post the original.

Donna, speed is always an issue and collecting the information on color and light while the dogs in the park bark and sniff and the owners try to help.

Thanks - gotta love the WC support. B:wave:

10-02-2013, 02:13 PM
Great to see ya again, Barb!

The first one glows the most to me. I think its because the moon is lighter in value. I wonder if the other ones, with the yellow moon, would benefit from lightening the value of the moon a tad, but still keep yellow/orange color. They just seem a bit too close to same value of rest of sky. Also, maybe downplay the light reflections in water a tad to focus light 'energy' on moon. Just tossing around possible ideas.

I can relate to the issues you are trying to resolve. I did this last winter for a train themed show. I had the hardest time getting the yellow paint stripes to be dark enough so the entire front of the engine would be one dark mass when squinting; but light enough to 'be colorful'. Different subject, but similar problem solving :)


10-02-2013, 03:09 PM

look up John Stobart ;
he is a marine artist , to say the least ,
and several of his paintings are nocturnal ...

i think that those paintings ( some which i have seen )
will tell you much more than i would struggle with in words . :


10-03-2013, 11:35 AM
Oh boy! What a gift to view that lovely painting on my post. Dang that stunning!!! It's got it all - perspective and value and of course subject...

I'm sorry to report the lights in the moon are as light as they will get so it's time to darken the other parts... back to the easel.

Ed, I will check out Stobart. I find that being a visual person, my ability to grasp information from photos is far easier for me as well.