View Full Version : Okay, I admit it, I need help here!

09-25-2008, 02:48 PM
This is what I began with, my intention was/is to complete a snowy night scene.
Now when I lived in Manitoba, the moonlight often light up the night.
Never was there a hint of yellow on the snow, just a stark blue/white.
That said this is the beginning;

Then I added the detail on the trees in the back and some bushes poking up through the snow, with an over paint of Golden Phthalo blue with (greenshade) watered down and applied three times.

After that I did another wash of Golden Phthalo blue (green shade)
This is the result (The colour in this one is bang-on!) What I need to know, is where to go from here. I am rather pleased with my attempts so far, but it is unfinished!
8" X 8" on canvas (Very small)


Gwenlyn Norton
09-25-2008, 02:55 PM
Beautiful beginnings.

If you want moonlight, you first need to determine exactly where the light is coming from, then add highlights in yellow tones wherever it hits most intensely. Don't be afraid. Just do it!

In the first one, you might even add the moon in the sky on the left side. Then do a VanGogh and blend it into the blues. You could make it the focal point of that one.

09-25-2008, 03:02 PM
You do like a challenge don't you :)

I love those clear winter nights with the moonlight making everything glow. The one thing that comes to mind is to decide where the moon is and play with the shadows. There is also a strong contrast between the foreground and mid-ground. You might want to play with light in the mid-ground as well.

09-25-2008, 03:03 PM
Thanks Gwen, but the Northern Moonlight here, while it could cast shadows, will never show any yellow on the snow.:)
It is like walking in a wonderland of white and blue.
This occurs when the moon is overhead, and full.
The further away you look the deeper the blue gets, but never yellow.
Maybe in the South it casts yellow in the winter, but not up here in the North to my knowledge.
The starkness of the two colours with the darkness of the shapes is what I am working with.

09-25-2008, 03:06 PM
Moon shadows (Shades of Cat Stevens:)), yep Bil, I was thinking about them and conveniently forgetting them, and now you!:confused:
Guess shadows will have to be a part of this.
I am thinking maybe the shadows in the foreground would be as dark as in the background.

09-25-2008, 03:07 PM
I did a moonlit scene once. I didnt use any yellows, mostly blues and purples. I'm gonna have to finish that one someday, lol. It's on the page in my signature if you wanna look at how I did it.

09-25-2008, 04:01 PM
I agree that one thing you need to do is decide where the moon is going to be...so you can place your 'moonshadows' correctly. In my very limited teaching from my daughter, neighbor and books...I was told the sun's highlights are yellow...the moon's are 'white' because the moon is cool light (reflected) and the sun is warm light (direct). Don't know that is a south or north thing...but I do love that cool glow that comes from the moonlight on a bright night...whether it is off the snow, or just the crisp frosting of everything it touches.

I found some pics....probably all copyrighted...:lol: :o :lol: but I think this is the kind of night you are talking about?
Perhaps they will give you an idea? Bill is right this is gonna be a tough one, but I know you can do it....you just have to infuse lots of light into the scene. So easy for me to say...:lol: , huh?

Just keep at it...I love what you have so far!!

09-25-2008, 04:33 PM
Susan to the rescue with lovely photo references!
I love the way you have the tree on the edge of the canvas...it frames the scene beautifully! I think this is just lovely already and so look forward to the finished painting Kathleen!

09-25-2008, 04:34 PM
Interesting subject, I'm pulling a chair

Lady Carol
09-25-2008, 05:18 PM
Thanks Gwen, but the Northern Moonlight here, while it could cast shadows, will never show any yellow on the snow.:)
whether it has yellow in it or not will be determined by how far you want to stretch that artistic license.

09-25-2008, 05:21 PM
Romi, mind if I join ya and help watch this develop?

Loooking great so far! Please keep us up to date on this, okay?


09-25-2008, 05:25 PM
I have tried a few snowy night paintings and I can hardly wait to see what you do with this one Kathleen!

09-25-2008, 08:00 PM
Thank-you everyone for your input.
There seems to be so many colours here, but all there are is
Tit White/Phthlo Blue (green)/black (for the trees & Bushes)and a bit of Burnt Sienna for the dried grasses.
I have lowered the depth of the blue, lessening it as I move downward, and next I will work on the bottom.
I think it is coming together, and personally I think I have that wonderful electric blue/white that I surrounds me, when I go for a walk in the moonlight on a very cold (Clear) winter moonlight night.
I have found in my life (so far) that nothing, absolutely nothing about nature reaches my soul more than these night walks.
It is as if you are one with the universe.
And, if the Northern Lights are flashing even better, but those lights could never be emulated with any semblance of recognition.
You might say that I am painting a "Feeling" as opposed to a scene.

09-25-2008, 08:23 PM
Kathleen, the tree on the left is perfect! The shading, shadowing,( and snow?) is just what I recall from walks at night. The glow on the limbs are wonderful...just what the moonlight would do.

There is nothing more beautiful, to me, than that crisp, clear look, where the sky seems filled with the boundless expanse of stars with that limitless look of grandeur that makes one feel small and insignificant and yet filled with the whole of the universe at the same time...it usually makes my heart hurt and sing simultaneously!

To put this into a painting will be magnificent!

09-25-2008, 09:55 PM
Finished (I think)
The rest is for you to decide!:lol:
(Should I sign it?)

09-25-2008, 09:58 PM
Personally, I love it!!!!! I just love the serene beauty of the entire scene...wonderful job with this!! Yes, I think it needs to be signed now!

09-25-2008, 10:10 PM
The glow on the foreground tree is lovely. Should you sign it? You bet!! It's your dream and mood you are trying to capture so it will always remind you of those walks at night and the serenity you felt deep in your soul. With so much unease around us these days, how wonderful to be reminded of the crisp air and being alone under the stars as the snow squeaks under your foot steps.
Sign it when you are ready and ENJOY the results.:thumbsup:

09-26-2008, 07:03 AM
Thanks Aires & Mike
Your kind words mean so much!