The third nocturne painting all titled with the word "Midnight", this one is all about the lighting with just a small but fairly bright moon within a relatively dark setting of moonlit woods with a subtly lit figure in the foreground. The model was the lovely Naomi Wood and is based on reference taken for a failed painting called "Naomi Gold". The picture is based around a blue/orange complementary colour axis using mixes of Kings Blue Light, Emerald Green, Indranthene Blue, Phthalocyanine Blue, Phthalocyanine Green, Ultramarine Violet, Lead Tin Yellow Lemon and Warm White (mostly Michael Harding paints) with Permanent Orange to modify the saturation. I painted the figure using warm shadows and cool highlights with modelling kept subtle to try and convey a moonlit figure. Compositionally it has a centrally placed figure and moon offset by asymmetrically placed trunks and branches and doesn't conform to my usual Rule Of Thirds way of composing a painting.
Oil on linen 20" x 16".
There is a step-by-step progress through this painting in previous posts on this blog.
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Tuesday, 23 May 2017
Just a couple of hours this afternoon on my return to the studio to work some more on the figure. The values are critical in this painting and it is impossible to photograph it accurately even after tweaking in Photoshop. I'm trying to get the figure painted quite subtly and am realising that in such moonlight that the modelling of the mid and highlights will be quite limited so it is trial and error as I go along. I need also to remember that some of the jewelry will be glinting in the moonlight. The whole painting is in many ways lighter than I intended so I will have to do another one that is nearer to what I imagine in my head, probably the fifth "Midnight" picture as the next one will be very Atkinson Grimshaw.
Saturday, 20 May 2017
I just had a couple of hours this morning to work a bit more on the face before packing up to leave the studio, back on Tuesday. Very hard to photograph this painting, it's actually darker but with less contrast than how it appears here.
Friday, 19 May 2017
Pretty much finished the background bar a slight tweak on the moon tomorrow. I decided to reduce the orange on the rim of the moon and paint in a little bit of detail although not as much as it appears in this photograph. I then put in the underpainting for the figure settling on warm shadows and cool highlights achieved by mixes of Permanent Orange, Indranthene Blue, Ultramarine Violet, Kings Blue Light, Emerald Green and Phthalocyanine Blue and Green all mixed with Liquin and Lukas Medium Number 5.
I have a four page painting demonstration feature in the new (July 2017) issue of Artists & Illustrators magazine. Titled "Going For Gold" it follows the progress through my painting of the Golden Temple in Amritsar which I visited last year called not too surprisingly, "The Golden Temple". I have written it in nine stages with a list of materials I used, thankfully the photos that I took of it on my old camera as I went along were just about up to publication quality...
Thursday, 18 May 2017
After a few days away from the studio during which time I had time to think about it I came back this afternoon and painted in some branches mainly on the left leaving it non-symmetrical to counter balance the symmetry of the figure and moon. I have decided to get rid of most of the orange tinge around the edge of the moon and after much thought in the previous couple of days darkened the underpainting of the figure as for this painting to look interesting I need to move it a way from the obvious and keep to my original intention of a pretty dark picture apart from the bright moon - in other words it's all about the lighting.
Monday, 15 May 2017
I made a start this morning on the darker trees in the foreground as well as putting some of the dark colour into the hair to unify the colours and tones a bit between figure and background. The glow around the moon is still not how I want it but I have to leave the studio now and will have to wait until Thursday before I return to carry on.