View Full Version : Evening and Night paintings

Deborah Secor
08-28-2006, 05:35 PM
The latest in my night series. I used a great photomontage taken by my friend Hank from the top of the Sandia Mountains overlooking Albuquerque. Hank knows his way around a camera a lot better than I do!


It's on Wallis that's been toned a very dark blue-purple color. I layered on some thick color, lightly blended it with my palm and then sprayed with alcohol. When it dried it was slightly slicker than the paper usually is, since some of the pastel fills up the grain, but this paper is so deep that I still had tooth to play with. The size is 8x23".

I mentioned in Kat's thread on her night series that mine has been going on about five years now. I have quite a few paintings, at least in digital format. I'm putting in a couple of thumbnails in so you can see the progression.

A big one, 18x24". It sold so fast this rather poor quality digi is all I have. I really took a chance and played with the foreground.

Blazing Complements
A city scene at evening, exploring cast shadows. It's 11x17".

I have a few more... but apparently I need to resize. Maybe later... :p I might make this an ESP sometime, if you all are interested.


08-28-2006, 05:58 PM
These are really lovely! Aren't night scene's fun? Dealing with a whole different colour skeem!

Kathryn Wilson
08-28-2006, 07:11 PM
An ESP! Great! Love the first one and that's what I am aiming for - but I'll have to make a fast, flying trip to the SW to get anything like that. How about airplane shots? I love looking out the window at night just as we are landing.

They all are great - the second one reminds me of the blues I am using and the adobe is a favorite of mine.

08-28-2006, 09:00 PM
Great night paintings. I can tell the first one sold very fast because it was wonderful. Excellant job on the other two also. james

Deborah Secor
08-28-2006, 09:37 PM
Yep, it is different at night! Actually it's all painting the light, just less of it, which makes it more imprtant. I love the dark, cool colors.

Here are a few more, in order, I hope:

Night Overlook
I was playing with the look of the moonlight, which can be so bright! BTW, it wasn't that oval--somehow the photo squashed it.

Night Skyline
I love the dark, loose foreground strokes in this one.

Night's Glow
Jerusalem--close to my heart. A small painting of the wall done from a RIL photo. (Kat, maybe the shapes of the cast lights will help show what I was talking about for your painting...)

Rio Grande Twilight
A study of the colors of twilight on the water--cooling the warm colors of the bushes was a challenge. Some here may remember seeing my struggle on this one...

Kat, I'm up for it, if others want a classroom on painting the night.


M Douglas
08-28-2006, 09:47 PM
Beautiful paintings Deborah, a classroom on painting the night would be awesome.


David Patterson
08-28-2006, 09:50 PM
Hank may know his way around a camera, but you really know your way around pastels! This is a great painting Deborah - fantastic!:thumbsup:


08-28-2006, 10:32 PM
Deborah, these are amazing, so unique and so masterful. Please count me in, I cast my vote for a class on night time paintings.

08-28-2006, 10:44 PM
There is no doubt Deb that you've gotten this down pat. Wonderful work and my favourite would have to be the first one. I'm surprised you haven't used the title "Diamonds in the night" it would seem so appropriate for one of them.

Cheers, Dianna :clap: :clap: :clap:

Deborah Secor
08-28-2006, 11:00 PM
Thanks so much everyone. I'm glad you like them! :D

Oooh, nice title Dianna... I can't seem to think of another good title! I guess after all this time I'm just dried up. Maybe I'll use that title for this new one. Thanks!

I'll see if I can put together a nighttime ESP (Exploring Soft Pastels) soon. It's a fun subject to paint. Start searching for night subjects everyone.


Kathryn Wilson
08-28-2006, 11:32 PM
Gosh, hard to pick a favorite - put I think I like the first one best.

Let's yak it up about the ESP and get some more interest going!

08-29-2006, 12:16 AM
These are beautiful.


08-29-2006, 07:29 AM
Oh my! YOu are really a lady of the night!! :D These are just lovely. I have never done a nighttime photo but these are encouraging me to try. I like them all but those long, narrow ones are especially nice. I realy love the one I think is Jerusalem...the one in the second post, next form the last. Neat stuff!


Adriana Meiss
08-29-2006, 11:35 AM
They are all beautiful! The redish cloud on the first one is lovely!
If I had to pick one I'd had to pick three: first one, Blazing Complements and Night's Glow.
Since you have so much experience with night scenes, what would you recommend to someone who wants to start painting one? I have this photo of my house taken one winter night, both composition and colors are good, but for some reason I'm scared of starting it.
Thank you,

Deborah Secor
08-29-2006, 11:53 AM
Saaaan...dy! :wink2:

It seems you like the intimacy of shadows and lights on buildings, Adriana, since the ones you chose show that. I don't think painting the nighttime scene is that different from other kinds of landscapes, but you do have to accomodate the shift in value to the dark range. That means you have to have a good palette of darks to use. I wouldn't start with black and three other darks, in other words!

I'd also do a value study, maybe thumbnails and sketches to plan the composition from your photo. Occasionally a photo is about perfect, but usually it needs to be tweaked. Here's a tip: plan the pattern of the LIGHTS. These direct the eye and become the major compositional draw, so they're very important.

I may try to plan a classroom on the night, and if so you could use the photo you mentioned. Of course, I'm happy to help out any time, but the ESPs can be a good motivator. It's always nice to have the information at the ready as you paint.


Adriana Meiss
08-29-2006, 12:04 PM
Thank you so much!
Sorry to sound like an idiot, but what's the ESP?

Deborah Secor
08-29-2006, 12:09 PM
It stands for Explore Soft Pastels, a series of classrooms we've done over a couple of years here. If you go to the Pastel Library you'll find quite a few of them, containing information on a subject and exercises or responses from people on that subject. They're fun to do, but take time to prepare and mind, so we only do them occasionally.

I recently had a friend tell me that the only stupid question was the one that remained unasked! :D


08-30-2006, 02:01 AM
Beautiful job...."Night Overlook" and "Illumination" are my favorites ...like them all but these two really hit home for me! Mike

Nancy Leone
08-30-2006, 07:33 AM
They're all lovely!
I'ld love a ESP from you on night light!!!

Rose Baggs
08-30-2006, 08:56 AM
Wonderful work Deborah!!! My favorites are "Night Overlook" and "Illumination" (Just like Mike ;) )

Deborah Secor
08-30-2006, 11:36 AM
Interesting choices you all are making here... I'm so gratified you like them. It's fun to put a whole show of night paintings up--I had a couple of others I never shot befores selling, to my dismay. :(

I'd also like to point out that the lefthand painting in my signature line is in The Best of Pastel. I still have it (for some reason I never framed it...)

I also have two or three other finsihed night paintings that I haven't photographed yet, so I'll see what I can do for a Night ESP sometime...


Karen Margulis
08-30-2006, 08:28 PM
I love your night paintings..all of them! It would be wonderful if you did an ESP....I would love to try one.


Deborah Secor
08-31-2006, 12:26 AM
Karen, maybe I'll give it a whirl. I'm a bit maxed out right now, but I think I can do a night ESP sometime before the end of the year! You all ought to just give one a try anyway and see how it works out. I'd love to see them.


08-31-2006, 07:10 AM
Dee, beautiful painting. I'd love to have a go at one of these. I'd best start looking for a suitable subject.

08-31-2006, 08:19 AM
They are all lovely. Very inspiring, I always intend to try one, but never have. I will definately put this on my list "to do".


08-31-2006, 10:23 AM
Hi Deborah! :wave: These are all so beautiful. I especially like Blazing Compliments, Night's Glow, and Rio Grande Twilight (well, I really like all of them!)

I really hope you decide to do the ESP you are considering, as night painting is something I've always wanted to try, and some guidance would be really helpful. I've already started taking a few photographs.

btw, I wanted to thank you for suggesting that "loosen up" exercise a while ago. I tried it and it really did help. I'm thinking of doing a short version before every painting I start. :)

Susan Borgas
09-01-2006, 06:58 AM
Stunning group of paintings Deborah. I will be on the lookout for the ESP, gosh I hope I don't miss it when you are posting rather than see it later. I seem to be wayyy behind here lately!!!

09-01-2006, 08:34 AM
Dee, beautiful all of them, but I have to say the first is my favorite, followed by the second...

09-01-2006, 10:40 AM
Stunning paintings Deborah. I just love them all. :clap: :clap: :thumbsup:

Val. :wave:

Bhavana Vijay
09-03-2006, 02:49 PM
Love your night time paintings!! :clap::clap:

09-03-2006, 10:07 PM
I love this concept and would love to try it!

09-11-2006, 03:49 PM
Gosh, I'm still trying to catch up on all the paintings I missed while I was in Canada. Just that you all post your paintings faster than I can view them all! :lol:. But I'm so glad I finally found this thread. These paintings are fantastic. They make me think of the line from 'Romeo and Juliet': "And all the world will be in love with night."