Friday night is youth club for our son; the highlight of his week is often not such a great start to the weekend for us as we’re on taxi duty. However, I have to consider that it’s paying it forward for all the times my parents chauffeured me…
Anyway, last night there was a definite up-side to the trip. The early evening moon was spectacular in the night sky, and by the time I got back from dropping Ted off I my head was full of the rather presumptuous idea of doing a night painting. I have admired night pictures ever since I first started looking at art as a young girl, but have never dared to have a go. It has always seemed to require too much subtlety and how could you actually paint in the dark anyway? Only a lunatic would try. Still, last night I felt brave and totally inspired to simply get on with it. Out came the acrylics again (they are becoming a bit of an addiction).
I did this one from memory, and artistic licence was fully employed. So please forgive the craters being in the wrong places, etc, and the fact that it was a gibbous, not full, moon last night is a mere detail. There was no real cloud, and the moon was incredibly bright, meaning that even the few early evening stars paled into insignificance. All I could see was the wonderful, bright moon with its wide corona.
Putting the dark sky in as a first move was incredibly satisfying: fast, thick, saturated colour gliding onto the hardboard, with a very slight colour graduation and some little wisps of paler colour thrown in.
I tackled the corona next, and this took me several goes, both using a very pale yellow, and then sweeping in some darks on a dryish brush. After running outside in the middle of painting for another look, I realised that in reality the corona itself is still quite dark and it is simply the contrast between the night sky and the brightly reflective moon which makes us think of the corona as being very bright. That was an interesting observation which had me painting over the corona again.
The moon itself was the last to be added, in several layers to achieve a mottled, slightly textured surface.
This was a very fulfilling picture to paint – although I’m not sure why. Maybe sometimes you can just enjoy the struggle of doing something totally new?