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Oil painting class, painting the night scene

Painting the night scene

Hello, my dear friends! Today we are going to paint the night scene using the unusual techniques. We will show the night sky, the water and the bright lights against the dark silhouette of the city and the reflections of these bright spots in the water.

You will need a small square canvas which should be placed horizontally on the drawing easel.

You will need the following paints and tools:

  • White,
  • Lamp Black,
  • Cadmium Yellow Light,
  • Lake Pigment Red strong,
  • Madder Lake Violet,
  • Madder Lake Violet Deep,
  • Cobalt Green Light,
  • Phthalocyanine Blue,

also you should prepare the following tools for our oil painting workshop:

  • a few palette knifes (the big and the small one with the sharp tip);
  • brush (the big one – for the background, the small one – for the details (round synthetic № 3-4));
  • cloth made of the soft fabric (gauze).

1. Moisten the canvas with the paint thinner using the big flat paint brush.

2. Make a few dark mixes for the night sky and the water background:

Mars Brown + Lake Pigment Red strong; Mars Brown + Madder Lake Violet;

Mars Brown + Cobalt Violet. You can add a little white to each of these mixes.

3. The next stage of our oil painting lesson is filling in the canvas surface with the background paint. At once you should take into account that there will be more light colors on the left and we will use the darker paints on the right. That is why you should use the mix of brown and purple on the right and the mix of brown and red (and a little white) on the left. Use the big palette knife and apply the paint making strictly vertical brush strokes and moving the paint from top of the canvas to the skyline. Use the lighter paints for the skyline (1.3 from the bottom of the canvas), I mean you should add more white to your brown mixes. Apply the paint making the vertical brush strokes with the palette knife, you can apply the paint starting from the skyline and moving upwards to the sky or downwards filling in the water background. Fill in the water with the brighter paints either (Brown + Madder Lake Red (Violet) + White).

After the background paint has been applied, slightly smooth and smear these brush strokes with the gauze cloth. Brush the paint off strictly vertically down slightly touching the canvas and using the fabric roller.

4. When the background is ready, slightly sketch out the silhouette of the night city which is far away. Use the Lamp Black and the small chisel brush № 3-5 in order to outline the houses at the skyline.

5. Prepare the bright mixes for painting the lights of the night city and their reflections in the water:

  • White + Cadmium yellow,
  • White + Madder Lake Red
  • White + Madder Lake Violet
  • White + Cobalt Green
  • White + Phthalocyanine Blue.

6. And now you we learn to paint it. Dip the rip of the small palette knife into these bright paints and show the light against the black silhouette of the city, draw the lines and the dots and so on. Use the palette knife and smear these bright paints above some houses (mostly on the right side of the canvas) upwards showing the glow of electric lights. Show the reflections of these lights in the water brushing the paint off downwards with the help of the palette knife.

7. Then sketch out the sail boats with the Lamp Black using the brush or the palette knife (whatever you want). Show the overtones on the ship hull highlighting its shape. Dip the palette knife into the bright mix of white and yellow and outline the masts and the yards. Sketch out the ropes (rope ladders) hanging from the masts of the ships with the help of the palette knife tip – simply ungluing the paint on the canvas.

8. Show the bright reflection of the light in the water under the boats (making the vertical brush strokes). Also you should outline the overtones on the small waves using the different bright mixes and making the horizontal pastous brush strokes.

9. The finishing strokes of our painting lesson: finalize the boat shapes, the glary masts and yards and some details far away on the city background…

Night scene - free oil paint lessons

Night scene – free oil paint lessons

After the paint has dried up a bit, you can correct or improve something in your work. I didn`t change anything and just left as it was. The oil painting lesson video also has the photo of another work made with the help of the same technique. As for me I like this unusual «streaming» background brush stroke very much, and what about you?

I wish you good luck and new success in your creative work!

And see you the next Art lesson!