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Old 08-31-2018, 08:54 PM
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The Spotlight - September 2018 - Nocturnes

Welcome artists!

Here is a quick recap of what The Spotlight is all about!

The Spotlight is an activity thread for pastel artists of all experience levels working from photos chosen by a monthly host. Most months, the host will choose photos from only one subject, putting that subject into ďthe spotlight,Ē so to speak! For example, one month the subject will be painting water, another month will spotlight flowers, etc.

Some months, rather than spotlight a subject, the focus will be on a challenge of some sort. In those cases, we might have a wider variety of photo references, but ďthe spotlightĒ will be on the challenge itself.

Since this is a group activity, we can pool our knowledge and resources, and grow as artists in a fun, ďno-pressureĒ atmosphere.

And, remember, no critiques unless specifically asked for.

The intent is to have fun, try new things, experiment, and perhaps most of all, to see what our friends and colleagues are painting from the same reference material!

Please note: The photos this month were taken by me or are from the Reference Image Library. You have permission to use the photos as reference to create your artwork and to sell them and/or exhibit them. The actual photos still retain the copyright of the photographer. So you cannot copy the photo to your blog, for example, without the permission of the photographer, or digitally alter or reproduce the photo for any purpose other than for your personal use, with the exception of crops, digital alterations and posts of these photos within "The Spotlight" thread.

This month's Spotlight is on...Nocturnes!

By popular demand, this month's Spotlight is on Nocturnes! A Nocturne is a painting of the late evening or night. Quite frankly, I have never painted a nocturne - and there aren't a lot of old master nocturne paintings. Whistler is supposedly the artist that coined the term - he did a few, Turner did some, and Winslow Homer did, too. Here are a couple Homers:








I know absolutely nothing about nocturnes, but, luckily, James Gurney did a blog article about them a few years ago. He really gets into analyzing how we might see colors at night. He also has a few more examples. Here's a link:

http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/20...ight-blue.html

Not only do I know little about Nocturnes, I also don't have many photos that could be used for reference. I have taken a few photos of the moon, but these may hardly qualify as art references - but here they are anyway! I do have one photo of a moonrise from an old photo taken on Indian Lake in the Adirondacks, so I'll include that, too!










Feel free to use your own references!

And have fun painting Nocturnes!

Don
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Old 08-31-2018, 11:21 PM
Dea Dea is offline
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Re: The Spotlight - September 2018 - Nocturnes

Brilliant, I have never tried one either.
I definitely will try to find time to have go this month.
Here are some photos I found in my collection if anyone wants to use them, thanks for another great spotlight.
Deanna


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Old 09-02-2018, 12:34 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - September 2018 - Nocturnes

Hi Don,

that is an exciting theme. I never did a Nocturne and have some questions. Is artificial light allowed? Or a fire in the night? I have a photo of a illuminated fountain in the night, but there is a lot of artificial light as it is in a city.
I will try one, but have to find time for it.
The blog you referenced about perceiving colors in the night was very informative and interesting.

Another point. The August thread is already closed. I was abroad and without internet at the end of August, therefor I could not read and thank you and Kris for your comments.
So I want to do this now.

Esther
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Old 09-02-2018, 06:30 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - September 2018 - Nocturnes

I think anything is allowed as long as it is late evening or night! Fire light, artificial light - any kind of light! Otherwise, all we have left is moonlight - so that would get very repetitive!

Maybe if this were a show or contest, there might be some rules that define what an official "Nocturne" might be, but here on the Spotlight, we don't care! Anything goes!


Don
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Last edited by DAK723 : 09-02-2018 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 09-03-2018, 02:37 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - September 2018 - Nocturnes

Wow..this is exciting! Thank you Don

and thank you Esther for voting with me. I missed your last entry in August. I love the depth you got in that painting. Make me relax looking deep into the painting.

Iím fascinated with nocturnes but little experience. I only did one that I can remember. Now Iím itching to paint!!!!

And Deanna...lovely references too. Going to be fun.
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:41 AM
Sarah Rose Sarah Rose is offline
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Re: The Spotlight - September 2018 - Nocturnes

Fascinating article!
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Old 09-06-2018, 02:05 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - September 2018 - Nocturnes

Here goes! All comments welcome. this is pastel mat 9 x 12 with Terry Ludwig pastels and a couple of pencils. My own reference. It still needs some work. more definition on the lamp post, but i'm open to all suggestions. Thank you.
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Old 09-07-2018, 08:57 AM
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Re: The Spotlight - September 2018 - Nocturnes

Jay, Very nice! I really like your color scheme! And the way the light is handled is excellent!

Don
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Old 09-07-2018, 01:14 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - September 2018 - Nocturnes

I think that for those of us who have been suffering from the heat, this is momentary relief. It appears to be a cold snowy evening, with everyone safely inside, sitting by the fire. Nicely done!
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Old 09-07-2018, 02:53 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - September 2018 - Nocturnes

Thanks Don. Iím so glad you mentioned the light. I was going to roll up my sleeves and tackle it again. It is quite dark in real life. I found it tricky to do. I appreciate the comment.

Karen! You guessed it was snow. Did you realize it was also beach? And snowing. Iím thinking of how Iíll show the falling snow. Itís only paper and pastel, right? I can get brave. Iím thinking of grating some light pastel in something and flipping it over to transfer onto the painting. Iíll experiment a bit. Thank you.
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Old 09-10-2018, 03:31 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - September 2018 - Nocturnes

A super painting Jay.
Albeit it is a simple motif, the outcome looks interesting with rich colors, a strong focus point and is very atmospheric.
I tend to do too complicated stuff with too much details, this really reminds me to try to keep it more simple.

Esther
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Old 09-11-2018, 09:31 AM
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Re: The Spotlight - September 2018 - Nocturnes

I am not really satisfied with it, but here is my try with a nocturne.
No moon light but polar lights. All kind of pastels on black Canson Mi-teintes touch 24x30 cm.



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Old 09-11-2018, 02:19 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - September 2018 - Nocturnes

Esther..you did it! Captured the Northern lights. (I hope no one notices they are missing!). Just perfect.
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Old 09-11-2018, 06:20 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - September 2018 - Nocturnes

Jay, I love what you did with this snowy scene! I hope you don't feel the need to define the lamp post more - it looks perfect as is! The limited light and the empty bench give this kind of a lonely feel, or maybe it's just a quiet beauty.

Esther, wow is that an amazing sky! I've never seen the northern lights but I imagine them to be much like this; shimmering and changing colors. The reflections are an added part of the show!
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Old 09-12-2018, 03:06 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - September 2018 - Nocturnes

Donna, thank you so much. I havenít touched the painting yet. The lonely feeling is what I was trying to portray. Since I know itís a beach, a snowy beach with no people is pretty lonely. Thank you for saying not to touch the lamppost. I guess I must hang it in a small room where it can catch the light.

I learned from this that a nocturne would benefit from carefully chosen sources of light. Perhaps more than one source. When I looked at my computer,I realize Iíve done about six or seven nocturnes! Most included some buildings and windows. Out of sight, out of mind! (Given away.).
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